Ruth 2014: Day 2

He is the only one

by

Today's Text: Ruth 1:6-14

Text: Ruth 1:6-14

Naomi is now a widow and also has lost her sons. Can you imagine? Maybe you can. If so, God is with you (He is so near the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18). And God was with Naomi, and God was with her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth. I would imagine that after such tremendous loss, Naomi would want nothing more than to have the companionship of these young women. Since her husband died first, maybe she’d come to believe even more in the Lord’s closeness. Maybe she wanted to dry her girls’ tears and comfort them.

But she knows that ultimately, in their culture, these women needed protection. They needed a husband, and she rightly knew that she was unable to provide this for them. So, Naomi did the hard thing and encouraged her daughters-in-law to go back, to return to their mothers’ house, and to find rest and peace (hopefully with a new husband!).

Can you imagine how excruciating that would be for Naomi? She lost her husband, but then gained these girls when they wed her sons. Maybe she felt like this was the restoration she had hoped for. Maybe this was her beauty out of ashes. But then, unbelievably, her sons perished, too. All she had left were these young women.

Sometimes, like Naomi, we want more for our loved ones than we can promise them. When this happens, all we can do is point them to Jesus. He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect.

Our dreams—some of them will die. Our churches—sometimes they will let us down. Our friends—it’s inevitable that they’ll hurt us. But, thankfully, we can continue on because we walk with Christ. He gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things.

2

 

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  • What really strikes me this morning is how important it is that there is such an amazing story focused on women in the old testament. This was a time when women were largely seen as unimportant, and here is a whole story about women God wanted in his Holy Word. This makes me think of my daughter. While I am still young and so is she, there will be a day when I won’t be here. It is my job now to point her to Christ who will never leave her and will always protect her.

  • This devotion is so on point with where I am in my walk. What a great friend I have to recommend to me to study the book of Ruth. Lord help me to Se the “Ruths” you provide in my life daily.

  • Hi just checking to see if my comment is going through

  • Laura Laywell

    So incredible, when it says that when you want more than you can promise for your loved ones, point them to Jesus.

  • Holly Sanders

    The last paragraph hit me that church’s will let you down. I’m struggle with my church right now and God is helping me make a decision and I believe and will trust what he decides

  • aurorasgirl♡

    I’m about to move after being in the same home for over 15 years. Having to find new friends and a church family is overwhelming. But I’m prepared with a open heart! And reading this is has been a blessing!

    • Mallory Ann McGhee

      Good luck girly!! Praying for you to find the right church that will provide a ton of great friends :)

  • Sarah Kent

    He’s forever with us, even when we do not deserve it and also when we feel like nothing is working out. He has a bigger plan in store. Amen and Amen.

  • Michelle

    Even after heartbrake… At the end of the day. He’s there. He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, but he’s always there with his love ready to shower over me and love me through it all. There truly is no one like him.

  • Juliefay

    What would we do to be close to the ones we love? Ruth seems to be acting irrationally by not heeding the advice of her mom but she shows a commitment to the family she married into and a true love for her mother. She wasn’t easily persuaded! Let us not be easily persuaded to leave the love we have known. Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, all I need!

  • Kasey Tuggle

    Reminds me of the song… One thing remains! Christ is our only constant. He is always with us. Always guiding, carrying, loving, protecting. He will never let us down! Clinging to him!

  • Kinsey Leigh

    He is enough… More then enough. Thankful for this reminder today, specially in my season of transition.

  • Amen. Amen. We have Jesus and He is enough.

  • Yes. So good! I am in a season of trust and growth! So encouraging!

  • I’m going through something similar, my boyfriend and I are taking a break from each other. I am enrolled in school, and quit my job and just have a lot on my plate right now, he saw I needed time to reflect on my life and re evaluate my happiness and he decided to give me the space I need. He is being selfless and showing me he loves me enough to give me what I need at this point in my life.

  • Sometimes I just want to take care of myself and get everything done, and ask nobody for help, but I definitely don’t rely on God enough. I’m not strong enough to stand on my own.

    • Emily Worsham

      My mom always tells me that when we don’t ask others for help, we can rob them of the blessing to serve. It’s humbling to ask others for help- I am very independent as well. But we were not made to be all alone and do everything for ourselves. That defeats the purpose of the Church.

  • I am not a patient woman. I do not easily wait on things to happen or for people to do what I need. But, I think because of my impatient character, God blessed me with four children to love and protect and ultimately teach me the true meaning of patience whether I liked it or not. It’s humbling ( and quite humorous } when I think about it. What strong-willed, impatient woman needs four kids? Two of ours were surprises. To this day my husband and I know this was Gods plan for us (me) all along. He is the ultimate teacher. Almighty planner. My lessons on earth about patience, have led me to have more spiritual patience and to allow God to handle the big things; to give him the decisions to make. Life is hard! But it’s a little easier when you hand things over to Him.

  • All of the good things in my life have come about when I have surrendered and been patient. Although counter to our culture that wants to rush about and control – I believe this is where the good things lie. Hidden in the midst of the mundane, slowing down of life and letting go. Praying for a counterculture spirit as I am once again at a crossroads that God has not allowed me to speed up. Praise Him. He is so compassionate, merciful, and good. Praise Him that He is not of this world. He longs for our hearts to wait on His goodness. As Ruth was bold and faithful in what seemed unlikely to be the best decision for her life (to the worldly view), I pray that I may be these as well.

  • Rikki Alexandria

    ❤️❤️

  • Your comment and wording is so great.
    I can agree with you on that. Feeling as if we’ve had pain already, then why do we have to experience it again. The thing is we are not perfect people and things happen. I have heard that statement time and time again. “God will never give you what you cannot handle.” People do approach that differently, but I agree with the fact that God does indeed give us more than we can handle and there is nothing that God cannot handle, like you stated. I believe that the struggles/trials we face can make us stronger if we approach them in the right way. I couldn’t imagine being in Naomi’s shoes. The losses she dealt with. God sends people in our path for specific reasons and it is so neat how He works in that way. I can say that He sent you, Corrie in my life for so many wonderful reasons and I am incredibly fortunate for the example you lead. I have to remind myself to not live in fear. It is easy to get caught in that at times. “Perfect love casts out fear.” The love of God is perfect and overcomes our deepest fears and worries.
    “Jesus is the one who will never leave us.” That’s exactly right. He loves us through it all. Even when we turn our back on Him and seem to be disobedient in our walk at times.
    I love you too, Corrie. I am really enjoying this study so far!

  • Tonight I am the night owl! A busy day but what a great way to end the night.

    Sometimes I want to think because I have had pain in my life, God should never put me through pain again. I take the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” and I hold it up to Him to remind Him that more hurt in my life would be more than I could handle. But you know the problem with that little saying, Laurel? It’s nowhere in the Bible! God can (and often does) give us more than we can handle. He does it to me all the time! The good news is this: while God may give us more than we can handle, there is nothing that HE can’t handle. And that is really all we need to know. Naomi went through so much. Not just her husband’s death but then her two sons. I think it was more than she could bear. But God, in His kindness and mercy, sent Ruth to her. She said she was forgotten and bitter, but we see how God’s plan is in motion for her good. That’s so comforting! Laurel, I know with pains in life it can be scary to think about going through that same pain again. But we can’t live in fear of it! We have to hold to the truth put so well at the end of this devotion: Jesus is the one who will never leave us! We need to let that cast out every fear of our hearts!
    Love you girl!

    • Sharee

      Thank you! I love this. I use that common phrase often and often I feel like I’m about to crack. Sometimes our hearts will get pierced but there is nothing HE can’t handle. Bc he is bigger than it all. And that’s shouting news. Be blessed!

  • Christi Johnson

    This spoke to my heart.

  • Amanda Christine

    Selah.

  • Enjoli Deleon

    Great! ❤️

  • The last portion of the passage really touched me! Loved it.

  • Amen to this devotional!!

  • PeggyAnn

    ♡ ♡ ♡

  • Praising him!

  • Gia's Miracle

    He allows us to do the hard things. Thanks Christ Jesus the last 60 days have been the hardest of my life. I am learning to adapt and walk this walk with Jesus. Only in Him I have hope and am able to wake up everyday. Like Ruth only in Him can I cling to and trust.

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  • Natalie Marie

    Even in my moments of struggle and pain, a selfless heart is what God calls for me to have. From that will come a quiet spirit, to which I will be able to hear Him speak, lead and comfort me.

  • Christy Hart

    Naomi’s words believe the lies she was believing…
    -The Lord was against her. (He was for her)
    -She (Naomi) would have no more sons. (Spoiler alert…the son of Ruth will be called Naomi’s son)
    -the best path for her daughters in law was to return to their pagan homes in hopes of finding a “good” husband. (The best path was the Lords path)
    But Naomi was doing her best to counsel her daughters in law. She was on the road that would lead her back to The Lord and his people. Each step down that road was a good decision.
    The God who is able to do far more than we could ask or imagine is at work!

  • When all else fails, God doesn’t!!!!

  • The women could see no hope for a husband if staying with Naomi, even though we know God made way for Ruth This speaks to my situation that God has an answer when we see no way for it to be realized. He IS our Provider! Especially when there’s no hope of provision.
    Marvellous God!

  • Alexandra

    I’m very excited about this! Just from this lesson I’m learning a lot about my own fears and how a) they are nothing compared to Naomi’s fears realized, really and b) God is and will always be bigger than them and He has plans to prosper. I think the majority of my life has been motivated by fear. Fear of loss, destruction, and let’s be honest, unhappiness. I’m really hoping that this study will help me ‘Let go and let God.’

  • Melissa Dennis

    So encouraging! I’m gaining a deepened theology on suffering through this study. All we have IS Christ!

  • Britani Hendrix

    Definitely a big reminder that at the end of the day all you have is GOD. Reminds me of probers 3 “lean not onto your own understanding but in ALL your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path”

  • Brittany

    This could not have come at a better time. I am struggling so hard in school right now with one of my classes. When I read, “he gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things” I about cried. That was just the right thing I needed to encourage me.

  • @Kathy, thank you so much! This Saturday is the release date.

  • HE is our Protector. Comforting words to me tonight especially knowing how hard the next few weeks will be…there is a gentleman getting out of prison for attempted rape to my sister when she was 10 years old. We worry for her safety wondering if this man will try to find her again … And knowing we aren’t close enough to help ‘protect’ her, we’re relying on our Protector – the one who never leaves or forsakes us. Timely devotion for me tonight.

    • Kathy

      Oh dear Amy you have brought a true sense of value to the name Protector. Praying for your entire family – may peace rule in your hearts

  • wow! Yesterday I decided to start one of these studies for my devotions, and of course this is Day 2 for me… I needed this one today!!! I love the truth that ultimately HE is the only one that will never perish, never leave us. He will provide and protect! Thats one of those things you "know" but never really think about…

    and then the part about our dreams die, our churches let us down and our friends hurt us, but we can go on because we walk with Christ! I'm in that boat {sadly all 3 at once}, and this really made me look up!

  • Reymi Rios

    I gave my all to a church I attended and all of a sudden it seemed like everything around us started to crumble the youth, the pastors and gossip. I didn’t understand what was going on and for a while I searched for a “perfect” church. We are the church and as humans were full of imperfections. This reminds me that everything around is a variable where only Christ is our solid living rock, therefor we must always remember to put our full dependence on Him.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Yes, Reymi! Thank you for the reminder that HE is the only one we can fully depend on. Praying that for you during this transition! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Pamela's Portion

    I so much identify with Naomi here. She has to be hurting so much but wants better for her daughters in law and tells them to go and remarry and have a good life departing from her even though i am sure that she wants nothing more than to keep them near in this horrible time. How sweet God’s grace is when he gifts us with a Ruth in our hard times. I very much want to be alone and hurt when I am in a stuck place but god knows just when to send a Ruth my way. (Thank u Rachel for being my Ruth even when I was bitter and angry and hard to love u were there)

    • SheReadsTruth

      Wow, I love this Pamela! Thank you so much for sharing encouragement today.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I have really struggled to find community with other women since our kids were born. I’ve tried planning playgroups, keeping in touch with old friends, etc.. But everyone just seems busy. It’s been a really hard season but reading this reminds me that ultimately non of that matters and He is all I need! I haven’t had my priorities straight and spent more time seeking community rather than seeking Him!

    • Amy

      Cristin I can totally understand. It is hard when you have a young family to find community with other women however you are so right. God is all you need. I’ve also had to learn that since having two little ones. Naomi let go of the only good things she had left, her daughter-in-laws, and yet God blessed her richly trough Ruth. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. He knows we need community and is a God who provides, just keep your eyes fixed on Him.

  • This verse is so relevant to my life at the moment. I love being able to read through the voices of other women & know that I am mot alone. 2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.” Letting someone you love go can hurt in the deepest part of you. But I have found God will bring them back if that is his will because when we pray for that person, its Gods love that controls them not my own. And its more beautiful than ever before.

    • Marah Kittelson

      Thank you so much for that. I just had to say goodbye to my boyfriend of two years as he ships out to Japan (he’s in the Air Force). And I was feeling so hurt and scared, but like you said, if we pray for them and if it is God’s will, we will be together, but in the meantime, I don’t need to worry. Just pray.

  • What I love about this passage, is the beginning Naomi HEARD what God was doing for his people and she WENT there. She had faith. I feel like I should be more intentional in seeking God in places I know He is working around me.

    • Aly

      That’s so good Mellie, I needed that encouragement today – to notice where God is at work (because he always is somewhere!) and to go (literally or figuratively) to be where he is.

    • Jennifer

      So true. That took some serious faith! Thanks for bringing my attention to that part!

  • Shae'Von

    Thanks Kaitlin :)

  • Shae'Von

    I love the beginning of this , to see how in weakness , Naomi -shows kindness and in return. Ruth returns the same compassion with a servants heart and mentality that I adore.
    She chose to stay even in a hard situation and that’s what most of us long for in relationships, strength and loyalty when struggles are to much to bare alone.
    Praying for you ladies this morning

    • SheReadsTruth

      I love that too, Shae\’Von! It\’s a beautiful image. Praying for you, too!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Woman Growing In faith

    What a comforting feeling to know that the one we need more than anything, will never leave us nor forsake us. The one who will meet all our needs. Naomi understood the love of God, even with making a hard decision, she saw that her daughters would be taken care of… I love this story. In my hardest struggle, God’s presence is ever so near.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, sweet sister! So glad you\’re here with us today. I\’m so thankful you shared your heart with us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • What an eye opener this message is for me. I am so thankful to have The Lord through hard struggles. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is only through Him that I will be made stronger.

  • Amen! Praise God for our strength during our struggles! Praise God for being with us and who never forsakes us! The only one! Thank You Jesus!

  • Paige Betterton

    Allows us to do the hard things….what a change of perception! I have always felt a since of dread when it comes to hard things. But this…he ALLOWS us to do the hard things. Thankful tonight that we can consider the “hard” things JOY.

    • TanyaBeth

      Thanks for pointing this out Paige, I almost missed it! That concept is going to take some getting used to in my mind.

    • Stefanie

      What a great “take away” from this passage! Thank you for pointing that out! He allows us which helps me to find more strength in myself. If He allows it then He is saying to me he knows I can handle it!

  • I’m new to this blog and study series. I’m wanting to be a good role model to my two daughter in laws (thankfully my two sons are still part of the equation!!). Both girls have no commitment to Christ so I want embrace and not judge them and pray this study will help give me insights. Thankyou.

    • Claire

      Speaking as someone who was deeply influenced in my walk with Christ by my own mother in-law, I encourage you to keep loving them and not judging them! You have great influence and can lead them to Christ with your actions of love!

  • Brittany J. Turner

    One thing stands out to me today. Christ gives us strength to do the hard things.

  • I can relate to this, so much. The notion that in the hard times, you have to cling to Christ is true. In the wake of my engagement ending 10 weeks ago, I was heartbroken and lost. However, clinging to Christ gave me the strength to move forward even in the moments where I had no hope. He truly is the only one that will never leave us and love us through it all.

    • Brittany J. Turner

      I understand your pain of a lost love and a pray that God will renew your hope and faith in His unending love. I pray His strength and grace for the days ahead, as he helps us to do hard things with His strength and provision

  • sarahlouise_rn

    I’m really relating to the bitterness if Naomi right now, but am praying God will change my heart so I can develop a more kind and loyal character, like Ruth.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Sweet sister, I have had so many seasons where I related to Naomi\’s bitterness, and I am so glad God reveals His character to us through this story! Praying for you to find joy in every little detail today! We love having you here.

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Cassi Clerget

    “Only know you love her when you let her go.” I kept hearing those lyrics while I read this. I think the beautiful part of this story is that Naomi was willing to let go—of her husband, sons, and daughters in law—because she rested in the strength of God’s love. She was willing to set out on her own because it would be best for the women. She is a wonderful example of how sometimes we need to move forward without those we care about, even though ultimately Ruth did join her. She was willing to leave both women behind for their sake.

  • Thanks for the quote the first thing I wrote in my journal after reading the scripture was waiting.
    Sometimes in life we need to let go and wait on God..easier said than done, but with God all things are possible!

  • What a refresher this study is. I'm a few days behind because I ordered my book late but I kind on enjoy looking back and being able to read all of the posts. I love seeing how strong Naomi is and how His power gave her so much strength. Looking forward to the Lord revealing more of His truth in the days to come. What struck me most? "He gives us strength and protection and allows us to do the hard things"
    I'm also on edge with vs. 14 and the last few words that end with ",but Ruth clung to her" Those hit me pretty hard!

  • I have a poem that I love. It's called "The Weaver" and its author is anonymous.
    That poem really talks about how our lives are but a weaving. Our sorrow and pain are just as important to our weaving as the happiness. Here is my favorite quote of all time from this poem:

    "Oft times he weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride forget he sees the upper and i the underside."

  • "He gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things."

    Amen. Reminds me of the song lyric, "because He lives, I can face tomorrow."

    He gives me the guidance and strength and peace to walk through the valleys and up the mountaintops, and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

    Love you all!

  • Christad87

    I am loving this study of Ruth it has always been one of my favorite books. Its a good reminder that no matter what the odds God always follows through with His promises. No matter how hard things get God is always there and we will come out as refined gold if we allow Him to purify us. I look forward to the rest of this study.

  • julielong03

    I've always loved the book of Ruth, but I have never had the opportunity to study it. For a long time, I have been in a dark place and my walk has fallen by the wayside consequently. Last year I gave birth to a beautiful son, who then spent the next 34 days hanging on to life by a thread.He suffered severe brain damage and has fallen behind most developmental milestones and is unable to eat by mouth. We later found out that he has a metabolic condition.. a condition for which I am a carrier. I have spent the year angry that my baby won't live the life that I had envisioned for him. I mourn what he will never have, what I can't give him. Struggling with the fact that I can't heal him.. that all of the therapy he undergoes hasn't healed him.. that there isn't anything that I can do to change his future. Today's words… and several of the comments spoke straight to this struggle. It reminded me of what I knew so firmly at the beginning of this journey and have forgotten as the trials have continued. God has this. Matthew is on God's planned path for him, as am I. I can continue through these hard times because God is with me. Because he will not leave us. He will continue to protect us, no matter what lies in our future.

  • Got this from the link one of our SRT sisters posted earlier:

    There's a lesson here. When we have decided that God is against us, we usually exaggerate our hopelessness. We become so bitter we can't see the rays of light peeping out around the clouds. It was God who broke the famine and opened the way home (1:6). It was God who preserved a kinsman to continue Naomi's line (2:20). And it was God who constrains Ruth to stay with Naomi. But Naomi is so embittered by God's hard providence that she can't see his mercy at work in her life. — John Piper

    From: http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/ruth-sweet-and

  • Finding this study to be very relevant right now. Having to let people go is always so hard, but knowing God has plans for their lives much greater than we can see makes it easier.

  • This study is perfect timing for me. I have hit a place that is unfamiliar with me…from the outside it would seem all things are as they should be, and for the first time in my married life, they feel as if they are….but I am struggling with the day in and day out of raising three kids while not working out of the house. God is laying heavily on my heart that I am to do something in addition to this, but the enemy is blocking all avenues to it! I know that if it weren't for my knowledge that God is with me that I have success in HIM and that He will provide all I need to see things through and cover me, just as He did for Naomi and Ruth. It gives me great peace on the days I want to throw in the towel, to know that I can persevere and trust because the Lord is in me!

  • I'll definitely come back when I'm done doing errands, and I'll have more to say then after reading everyone's comments, I'm sure, but right now… wow. This really resonates with me.

    Not being able to be what somebody needs.
    Knowing that in the end, all you can do (the best thing you can ever do) is to point someone to Christ, the one who was with them, who MADE them, even before you were around.

    My ex called me last week at 2:30 am. He was acting erratic, unstable, and sounded as if he was depressed and distressed. This made me incredibly panicky right off the bat. The Lord had warned me that something from my past was going to hit hard the evening during bible study, directly before that night, and had braced me, telling me to let Him [God] fight the war for me. When He called, hearing his voice filled me with a quick mixture of confusion, anger and anxiety, but I put the phone down, took a deep breath, and said, "Lord, be here. Be. Here. I need you. I see now. Speak. Be here. Fight." Talking with him made me violently shake, as so much has happened between us and his voice on the phone now only fills me the deepest emotions, most of them being incredibly painful and deep. It was amazing, how the Lord completely had control over the whole thing; He filled my half-asleep mouth with words– it was DEFINITELY not me. The Lord spoke through me and told my ex that I cannot be the person he calls at 2 am anymore. That no one can be that person, and that I've been praying he'd come to the end of his rope and find only Jesus there. That he'd only know Christ and him crucified, that anything keeping him from knowing that would pass away; that I loved him selfishly in the past, and I loved him best when I had given him over to the Lord. He said sorry, sounded ashamed– I reassured him, told him not to be sorry at all, was firm but sincere.
    Getting off the phone, my whole body continued to shake uncontrollably. I cried. I praised God. I cried out for Jesus. I flipped open my bible–I can't recall the exact passage– but the message was about telling the truth/being honest with loved ones/brothers & sisters within the church. I was shaken for the next day or two, but amazed at how the Lord had finally spoken through me.

    I don't know my ex anymore– not on a personal level, anyways. I care for him deeply. It was heartbreaking, but amazing and beautiful, to finally be able to tell him that I can't be his cornerstone– and to point him to Jesus, who was waiting there with him all along. I only pray he listened.

    Father, I thank you for giving me an instructed tongue. For showing me that I cannot be what people need, ultimately. For giving me such love for people that I don't claim to be that person; that I look to you instead. Be blessed, sisters. I Love you.

  • Gema Muniz

    So blessed by todays post. Is such a great reminder that God is with us no matter what. At the end of everything God is the only standing by our side. I can't imagine the pain Naomi was going through after loosing her husband and her two sons and then having to let go of her only companions. But is obvious that Naomi already understood what we are being reminded today, which is that we don't need anybody else in our lives but God. God is the only one who will never perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, and who will protect us ALWAYS! Just started this book and I'm already loving it. Can't wait for tomorrows teaching. God bless you all my SRT sisters!

  • walkinglauren

    I can relate to Naomi. I have lost a Brother-in-law and my Grandma with in a few short months of each other. I have seen pain and heart ache but I have experienced the love of friendship and family. Through out this time of loss I have witnessed God's great glory. He is amazing! I know that these experiences needed to happen so I could be shown the love of God.

  • *had to break up my post in 2 comments* And today, the hard times, the difficulty, the despair, the stress and agony was all for a reason. The tears, the tugging at the heart, all of that was not in vain. Although we know the ending now, during the time of the text that we're reading today Naomi and Ruth (also Orpah) didn't not. But they knew that God, the same God who I call my Father and Best Friend, will never leave nor forsake them. *I just breathed a sigh of relief!* Earlier this year, I prayed and said 'Yes Lord! The promises that you made for me in regards to my career and marriage, they're finally coming to pass!' Finally, beauty for my ashes! And then BOOM! The storm hit! Tragedy struck! This is why the first 14 lines of this chapter has wrecked me! Because the God that provided for Naomi and Ruth through the hard times will provide for me! There's purpose in the pain and the truth will be revealed!

    • Christen Louise

      Bianca, this is beautiful!

    • Christianne

      Bianca, you are so loved! Naomi was stripped of nearly all she held dear in her life, but through the pain of such loss God filled her heart with such joy in knowing and experiencing Him becoming her ultimate Satisfaction and Provider and Redeemer. I heard in a sermon once that God allows our hands to be empty so that we could then take hold of His loving and more than capable hands. As you said, let us bless God for His purposes are greater than the pain we experience!

  • Admittedly, I was excited to read Ruth with the SRT community because this book is the 'go to' text for single Christian women who are (in)patiently waiting for God to present their husbands. I thought that this study will rejuvenate my hope and faith in marriage. But NO!!! Hasn't happened (yet)! God had other plans! So funny and amazing how he works! These two days of devotionals has wrecked my heart, soul, spirit, etc in other ways that I've never imagined. Yesterday, meditating on how tragedy breeds triumph. How the devasting events that happened throughout Naomi's and Ruth's life ultimately led to the birth of Jesus Christ. How they stood firm in their faith in our Lord and their acts of obedience was rewarded to not only them but to others generations and generations and generations later. How their ordinary acts of obedience to an extraordinary God has helped ordinary Bianca from the south side of Chicago (lol!).

  • chinaglass01

    What a beautiful study this morning. It is so comforting to know that God and Jesus are there to listen and stick by our side, even through difficult times. The last part of this study reminded me of a beautiful song that I just heard a couple of days ago on a local Christian music station.
    Its called " Lift Me up" by The Afters… If you have a moment in your day, look it up on Youtube, Its beautiful! http://youtu.be/KBy2D8p5Kpw
    Thank you God for all my blessings and I pray that you continue to give me strength to grow in your name

    • Christen Louise

      I love The Afters, but I had not heard this song before! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    • KatSmith1026

      Wow thanks for sharing that video. I’ve heard it many times on the radio but I’ve never seen the video. It brought me to tears – so thankful for our God who carries us & gives us strength.

  • Margi M.

    Hello! I truly love the story of Naomi and Ruth. Every time I cry. Something about the love and true relationship, true sense of family in these women! I recent heard a talk about having Wholehearted Relationships and the speaker mentioned that sometimes we are Orpah and sometimes we are Ruth in our friendships – and that is okay. Sometime we have these two types women in our lives as well, and just like Naomi we are called to love both the Orpahs and the Ruths. I have been feeling more like an Orpah in a few friendships that have always been more like Ruth relationships and I am processing what that means. I think life can consume us and we, and I, forget to take a breath and PRIORITIZE what really matters to me – the Ruths in my life are one of those priorities that I have been neglecting. This study, as so many of them often do, has come at the perfect time. I love that God never leaves us and love that He puts Ruths in our lives to reminds us of His Great and Everlasting LOVE!
    Have a beautiful day ladies!

  • Isela Morales

    As I read this song came to mind:
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Jesus is the light and only and him can we find our purpose in life.

    • Christen Louise

      I've been out of church for a while, and this song brings back so many memories! We used to sing it EVERY Sunday during the invitation time…

  • kelleylynne729

    A great book that is a must read during this study:

    The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

    This book takes you through the book of Ruth verse by verse with lots of insights and humor! It's probably one of my favorite books. Hope you enjoy! :)

    • Christen Louise

      Thanks for sharing! This book looks great, I've got it on my list and I'm going to try to get a copy!

  • Jeanette

    Naomi said, "Return home my daughters..to your mother's home…may the Lord grant that each of you find rest in the home of another husband."…Orpah kissed her good-by but Ruth clung to her." "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

    Life….more than physical existence….it is hopes and dreams and plans.

    Naomi followed her husband to Moab and built a life there, only to be deeply sorrowed with her husband's passing. She must have rejoiced in the marriages of her sons and rebuilt her life around them and her daughters-in-law, looking forward to grandchildren to love and help raise. With the deaths of her sons, and no grandkids yet, she had to re-envision her life again…and let her daughters-in-law go and search for their new lives as well.
    Letting go of old dreams, hopes, plans….and letting go of people so that they can fulfill their own lives (as opposed to expecting them to fulfill our life). Greater love has no man…..Naomi laid down, let go of her life in Moab, let go of her daughters-in-law. And then Ruth also let go of her homeland, her sister-in-law, her life. And she clung to Naomi. How gracious and self-less and loving both women were!

    I pray that God will empower me to be self-less and wise and allow my loved ones to lead the life God calls them to instead of expecting them to fulfill my life or plans or dreams.

    Thank you, God, for helping me, leading me to look to You for fulfillment and direction!

  • LaurenC_

    "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

  • Letting go of control and embracing trust. Allowing what will to be. Giving ourselves over to God and His plan for us. Such important lessons. And sometimes so hard.

    • LaurenC_

      Amen!

    • ButterflyBre

      The hard right thing, a dilemma that demands faith and trust in our loving Father. I agree Rachel such important lesson and also so hard.

  • I love the encouragement

  • tpleckertp

    I was reading the lesson this morning and breaking down some words. I see God in all these scriptures: over and over again I hear Him saying I will not leave you no matter how far you walk a way. We as human should follow the step of God, He never leave us or forsakes us, there people out in this world that have come in to our lives and we don't see them change but God doesn't leave so we should not either. This my first time on a Bible study through IG.

  • pinkcupcakesandcardio

    Love this!!!!
    "He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect."
    It's so comforting to know that we have a GREAT God who is on our side no matter what the situation is. Sometimes we may not feel it, just like Ruth felt He was against her, but He's there. Those struggles help make us stronger to do the work of His Kingdom. MAN!!! I'm so pumped to have a community of ladies who love to study and dig deep into the Word. Thank you ladies!!!!!

  • jeniamarie

    I love the fact that Naomi knew she couldn't stay where she was. She must have obviously realized after the death of her sons, that Moab was not the place for her or her family. She knew she couldn't stay there among the people who served other Gods. She must have had some conviction of her own. I also admire Naomi who although uncertain about her living conditions back home, she knew there was no other place to go. There also must
    have been something about Naomi's life and how she lived that caught Ruth's attention and that caused her to abandon the way she was brought up
    to go and live as Naomi did….by Faith! We don't know the late night conversation these women had or the times Ruth may have inquired about Naomi's God. But it is evident that Naomi's life impacted Ruth's heart early on in the story. Maybe it was her response to the hardship she was going through we don't know for sure, but I see God at work even in the middle of a seemingly impossible situation.

  • Daniella

    Such heavy reading today. I read some of the verses over and over just letting them sink into my heart. Have a blessed day ladies!

  • This word today is timely for me. I can imagine how theses circumstances brought the women closer than ever. they needed each other, yet Naomi knew she would never have what Ruth needed, a redeemer.
    Yes it is hard to move on from family who have chosen a different path in life than your own. It feels like the worst betrayal, to be told "You can't come with me". Or I won't go there with you.
    But God, has a better plan, as I struggled with my own disappointment yesterday, I kept coming up to this thought that there were parts of my story I still couldn't see nor understand.Family ties can become an idol,a false security blanket that can water down hard truths. I loved this story because Gods true nature shines out of it, HE did send her to her redeemer,as He sends us,through His Holy Spirit at every turn in the road.

  • amynpoole

    "Sometimes, like Naomi, we want more for our loved ones than we can promise them. When this happens, all we can do is point them to Jesus. He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect."

    These words couldn't ring more true this week!

  • denabobena

    I've been SO enjoying this reading… I love the book of Ruth. I also love the book of Esther. Maybe it's something about awesome, godly women that I'm attracted to their stories… Oh to be like them.

  • I’ve never been in Naomi’s situation. I’ve had losses, heart breaking losses. But not the death of close relatives. Although I haven’t experienced that, I’ve had my fair share of bitterness. I can see why Naomi sends them away. I’d want to be alone to. To weep, be weak, have a fit, scream at the sky. You can do that when it’s ‘pity party, table for one’. Not so much when you have a stow away. Although she blames God, she’s faithful. She still journeys home empty handed, heathen daughter in law in tow. But God, He’s on the journey too, whether Naomi likes it or not! She’s been faithful to pack her bags and head home. God is always faithful to meet us on the journey. Her story is unfolding, the history is being laid out for us, Naomi can’t see it yet, but God is weaving HiStory through her. I like what Kelly Minter says in her Ruth study. ‘Gods grace is always positioned for anyone who will simply come, often for the ones who don’t even know it.’

    • Shelly

      More Minter notes. I did this study 4 years ago. I’m revisiting it as I go through Ruth again. 1. They were in the journey when Naomi urges them to go back, not before they left. 2. Although there is weeping on the journey, Naomi is still moving forward.

  • Testing. I had a whole post written and it’s not showing up. Testing.

  • I’ve not been in Naomi’s shoes. I’ve had major disappointment, heart ache, broken relationships, loss of finances, possessions, but not people. People close to me. Not through death anyway. But I can see myself as Naomi. Tired, bone tired, defeated, ready to give up. And wanting to make the journey home….alone. As long as I’m coming home empty, it may as well be empty handed. She tells them to go home, find another husband. Maybe they will keep the Hebrew traditions she taught them, just let her sulk along the journey home. But God… Yea He let’s Naomi think He’s against her, that doesn’t bother Him. He sees the whole picture, the end of the story, the history that will be read, the hope her life brings, her faithfulness, even when she can’t see that it’s faith in action. She makes the journey, that’s incredible. But her story doesn’t end there! Neither does ours sisters!!

  • Wow, impactful words and comments! I too, have historically viewed this from Ruth's perspective and am so grateful for these fresh thoughts and insights! We all have hard things to do and if we can manage to handle them with even a portion of the grace Naomi and Ruth both showed it would be a wonderful example of Christ shining through us!! That's my goal!!

  • Letting go and not grasping is hard enough, even harder when it's about letting people go out of your life! I know this is a lesson for me to let my students move on.

  • I so identify with Naomi when she says …"because the Lord's hand has gone out against me." So many times I've faced adverisity be it the sudden death of a family member, the instability of a parents mental capacity, or suriving betrayal from friends or your spouse. It's often one bad thing after another & I am glad that I can identify with feeling like the Lord's hand has gone out against me. It was tough for Ruth to believe that her daughter in laws would want to stay by her side especially when every other thing in her life seemed to go wrong. God was proving faithful to her through Naomi. That inspires me!

  • Amen. I always want more for people than I can promise. Lord help me to direct them to you, in whom we have everything and may never lack. Thank you Lord for your Word that is ever so true and timely. For this I continue to bless your Holy Name. Have a blessed day Ladies.

  • Love what many of you ladies have already shared.

    It’s a hard thing for some to reconcile that God allows these hardships, yet He is the one to bring us ultimate comfort when devastation comes our way. Naomi clearly saw God bringing the upon her, yet I don’t see a rebuke for her bitterness. Sometimes we are so quick to judge others –“you’re not right with God, if you are bitter”, but clearly God gives these emotions, and we are to work them out through/with Him. She did the hard thing (telling her DILs to go home), and then God blesses her with one DIL staying. I hope that I alway see the blessing through the trials. Rambling…hope this makes some sense.

  • Just thought I should point out to the writers of "shereadstruth.com" the daily lesson mixed up Naomi and Ruth's names. Those that read your message before reading the scripture (and who haven't heard the story before) may find it rather confusing.

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Hi Michele! Which part specifically in today’s devotional? I’ve read through it a few times and don’t see the mistake, but maybe I’m missing it! Thanks! Amanda

  • Hi all,

    First time on SRT blog, but not the first SRT study. I found SRT on a Bible app last year and was hooked. :)

    Thank you so much for this perspective on Naomi's actions. So often, the focus is on Ruth's response in verses 16-17 and this results in overlooking Naomi's strength to let go.

    It challenges me to ask myself these questions. What hard right thing do I need to buckle down and DO? How do I balance my needs with the needs of those close to me–am I being balanced or selfish? If I can't let go of control in a relationship, who or what am I holding on to instead of Jesus?

    • Christen Louise

      I actually found SRT when they first started, but this is the first study I've done since then. I love this little community though. Just in the two days I've done this study, I feel so encouraged and uplifted!

      I found myself thinking of the same challenges – what do I need to let go of? It's a hard question to ask, and even harder to carry out.

  • "He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect."

    AMEN.

    Praying for you, sisters–may God fill you today!

  • JessicaLoves___

    I can't imagine how hard it would have been for Naomi to utter those words. She must have debated them over and over in her head before finally giving in to her good conscience. She could have easily rationalized – why would God give me daughters-in-law if he didn't want them to stay as a support to me? But she finally got up the courage to let them make that decision for themselves. In the end, the reward for doing this and losing one of them will be that she has confidence that Ruth is there because she wants to be, not merely out of compulsion. Naomi could have that companionship without a guilty conscience. In the end, God was definitely in the hard right thing; and he honored her hard and dutiful decision through the willing spirit of Ruth.

  • sarafalcoeiras

    recently we studied the book of Ruth at our women's group in my church. it was a true blessing. we used John Piper's booklet that can be downloaded here – http://www.desiringgod.org/books/a-sweet-and-bitt
    it would be a great adition to this current plan!

    love to all, you Noemies and Ruths <3

  • KatSmith1026

    In my prayer this morning I realized that I’ve never really gone through a trial such as this, the loss of a dearly loved one. So, as I’m learning here, God is gently preparing my heart for difficult times that are certain to come in my life. I don’t know what to say to you sisters who have or are currently going through some tough times, except for my prayer that The Lord would just cradle you in His arms.

  • joanne sher

    HE will never leave us. No matter our losses, He will never be one of them. Wonderful reminder!

  • Taylor…I really felt God in what you said. If you dont mind. ..im copying it down. I need to mull it over. Especially when you say: but there is a certain measure of confort to be found in cibceding your desires…

  • stinav96

    Good morning, ladies! I so appreciate Naomi's attempt to do the right thing by her daughters-in-law, but I do find it strange that she would urge them to go back to their people and gods when she knows she worships the one true God. I kind of wonder if she wasn't thinking from a worldly perspective, rather than a God-focused perspective. She was thinking of practical considerations, not extraordinarily ordained considerations. It seems to me she was somewhat bitter (especially if you read on in chapter 1), although, I tend to wonder if God was not dealing with her worldly point of view in the taking of her husband and sons, and was continuing to deal with her, even in the midst of the bitterness that ensued. God is not afraid of our disappointment, our lack of understanding, our desire to make sense of our circumstances. However, neither will He dump all the answers in our laps. And He doesn't intend for us to stay in that place of bitterness, disappointment, questioning. Praying today, that even in the midst of our most bitter disappointments, anger, loss, lack of understanding, that we will not embrace those things as the result of our circumstances, but as the call of God to turn to Him to be molded by Him, that those emotions will be just that (even when they feel like much more!)… emotions, albeit, emotions that bring us into a deep heart-relationship with God Himself. I think of Job when he confesses, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. . . . I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (42:2-6) Today, may we turn to Him as a child clings to a parent after loving discipline. In Jesus' Name.

    • EssieJean

      Wow stinav96! I’d never thought about that aspect of Naomi’s interaction with her daughters-in-law (the fact that she’s sending them away from the one true God)! In fact, I’ve hardly ever thought about Naomi at all in this passage. I’ve always been focused on Ruth and Orpah…

    • Susan

      I thought the same thing! How could she encourage them to stay in a place that didn't worship God? Interesting.

    • CarrieLynne31

      I've never thought of it that way, stinva96. Thank you for pointing that part out. Blessings, Carrie

    • Shelia

      After reading your post this morning, I have thought about this almost all day. I settled down tonight and decided to do a little digging on my own, and found Matthew Henry's commentary on this passage. I thought you might find it interesting.

      "Naomi began to think of returning, after the death of her two sons. When death comes into a family, it ought to reform what is amiss there. Earth is made bitter to us, that heaven may be made dear. Naomi seems to have been a person of faith and piety. She dismissed her daughters-in-law with prayer. It is very proper for friends, when they part, to part with them thus part in love. Did Naomi do well, to discourage her daughters from going with her, when she might save them from the idolatry of Moab, and bring them to the faith and worship of the God of Israel? Naomi, no doubt, desired to do that; but if they went with her, she would not have them to go upon her account. Those that take upon them a profession of religion only to oblige their friends, or for the sake of company, will be converts of small value. If they did come with her, she would have them make it their deliberate choice, and sit down first and count the cost, as it concerns those to do who make a profession of religion. And more desire to rest in the house of a husband, to or some worldly settlement or earthly satisfaction, than the rest to which Christ invites our souls; therefore when tried they will depart from Christ, though perhaps with some sorrow. "(Ru 1:15-18)

      • Christina Vickers

        Ah, very helpful! Thank you! That definitely makes sense. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful research. I want to go back and read MH’s commentary for the first few verses as well now, since my questions from those verses led to my interpretation of this set of verses. It is great how reading an already well-read book within community can challenge us in different ways! Thank you, again! (stinav96)

      • Mukasha

        I've been thinking over Christina's comment the whole day as well and in my research stumbled upon the same commentary from Matthew Henry. Sure does make me look in a whole new way at Naomi. The wisdom to let go…and if it comes back, it is meant to be yours kind of thinking! Thank you Shelia for putting it in writing here and thank you Christina for once again pinpointing the small things that really make a difference. Have a blessed day sisters!

      • Mukasha

        Also, may I ask what version of Matthew Henry commentary you were quoting? The one I was reading online has a much more complicated language compared to what you have used. Thank you!

    • Nicole

      I've read your post about 5 times now, I want to absorb it. The part that struck me was that " God is not afraid of our disappointment, our lack of undertaker, our desire to make sense of our circumstances. However, neither will He dump all the answers in our laps. And He doesn't intend for us to stay in that place of bitterness, disappointment, questioning."

      What powerful words.

  • Candacejo

    “There is a God who governs the world, so that things do not come to pass by chance, no, not the smallest event, but all by Divine direction.” ~ Matthew Henry

    I wrote a post a while back on Crazy Coincidences or Divine Appointments? The Book of Ruth is full of those Divine Appointments that some would call happenstance. But with God nothing just "happens". His hand is all over our lives! We will see it time and time again in this study of Ruth…especially the ending!

    Be blessed Sisters to know God is with you even in the hard things!

  • Christianne

    " But, thankfully, we can continue on because we walk with Christ. He gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things."

    What a beautiful example of Christ's outpouring love we see in Naomi. Christ's step down to earth away from the Father, away from His heavenly abode, must surely have been a hard thing. Yet His great love led Him to earth and eventually to the cross. He laid down His life, He put aside His comforts, He took off His robes to put on our rags, to give us the comfort of eternal hope, to give us life everlasting with the Father. And here is Naomi, foreshadowing this self-denying love in giving her only closest living family members freedom to live for themselves. What strength we truly have in Christ to do the hard, right things!

    Exodus 9:16 – "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

    By God's grace, let us live after the example of Naomi in the light of God's love and in the power of the cross. Truly God is with us on the mountaintops and in the valleys of life. Bless the Lord!

    • EssieJean

      What an encouragement, Christianne! Thank you so much for your uplifting words this morning!

    • AnnaLee

      Praise God for you, Christianne! This self-denying love is truly Christ-like… I didn't think of Naomi as foreshadowing Christ, but wow. I think of how God gave His only begotten son, all because He so loved us… He gave, because He loved; He sacrificed, because He loved. Lord, let me give and sacrifice more and more unto You, only for your glory.
      Blessings, Christianne. Thank you!

  • sweetdes2014

    He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect.

    Thank you Lord for never leaving my side when I've gone through the hard things!

  • Steph_Lilac

    Can I tell you how much I love the Book of Ruth?! This is such a wonderful devotion this morning. Sometimes we can selfishly keep people around us, even though it's not beneficial for them or us. Even in her hurt Naomi had to let her beloved daughters-in-law go. She showed strength even in her weakest moment. I pray for a Mother-in-law like Naomi. May you be blessed my virtuous sisters! xoxo

    • AnnaLee

      Amen to that, Steph. I've made the mistake of holding onto people for too long out of fear and selfishness, only to really damage both them and myself. Father, show us who to let go, when to let go, and how to let go. Only He can do this for us. I praise you for that, Jesus. I praise you.

      Blessings, Steph! Thank you for this insight!

  • Beautiful poem & quote, Tina!

  • Just found this quote from Joseph Campbell…..

    We must be willing to let go of the life we planned….so as to have the life waiting for us……

    Well said….AMEN to that….

    • Leslie

      Thank You Tina and God Bless You!

    • CarrieLynne31

      Wow, so true! Thank you for sharing!

    • LaurenC_

      AMEN

    • HealingMatthew

      Beautiful . And exactly what I need to remember. I've spent a lot of time mourning the life that I had planned for my son.

    • thechristiansinglemother

      Amen… a powerful message in such little words

    • travelingwithkids

      That is so true! I like that quote, thanks for sharing

    • AnnaLee

      Praise the Lord for you, Tina. I thank Him for you. Thank you for this quote… it's been so needed. Father, show us what we need to let go of. Help us to let go. I praise you for that.

      Love you, friend.

    • Jordan

      Amen is right! Thanks for sharing, Ms. Tina. xoxo

  • ..I was led to write this poem that I wrote a while after I lost my beautiful daughter…..at the age of 27….

    How do I welcome in a New year…..when I have nothing to offer it? ….How do I see it in, when my heart is empty….How do I wish for happiness, when I have had my heart and life shattered….my soul emptied….my life not worth the weight….How do I see in a New year, …..all I will be doing is,ending my links with you ..julee….I will begin this New year knowing that whatever I do, whatever I say, whatever I eat, I wear, I see, I dream….it will not involve you…my precious gift…
    The New year arrived anyway…..as sure as the sun rises and sets….it arrived…..and many more since…..letting go of my loved loved one, that I lost has been hard…..letting go of the Living one's has also been hard…..I want to hold on to them, I want them close….I have been afraid….
    So, I can see the bravery, the strength, the hard-right thing act of Naomi, letting them go to be the people God created them to be…( I know Ruth's blood line…He he!!) , not ever easy, BUT God …..He gives them their own dreams, their own walk, their own life, that works with 'us holder on-ers' lives…..i can't promise them everything, …But I know a God who can……I have leant to be still….and know my God…..I have learnt that sacrifice for one loved is rarely wasted….it comes back to you double double fold…..Amen….Thank you Lord…loss is hard, on the soul, mind, heart…..but God….walks through it with us ….gently…re-minding, and healing our heartbreak from the inside out…..
    I am not totally there yet….but I know each day with God alongside….is a better day…..

    I ramble, sorry sisters….letting go and letting God ……

    Thank you for your time….God bless each and everyone of you today…..with love, always…XXX

    • CarrieLynne31

      Beautiful poem, Tina! I can't imagine the loss you are going through but your testimony through it is so precious. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your heart. I will pray for you today. Blessings, Carrie

    • Marci

      Thank you for sharing the deepest part of your heart.

      • tina

        Marci, thank you, for stopping by and your encouragement….God bless you….

    • LaurenC_

      Praying for you Tina. You have such a beautiful heart.

      • tina

        Lauren, thank you for your prayers dear heart….you are still in mine….with love, friend…Blessings….x x

    • Gema Muniz

      Thank you for sharing Tina, it brought tears to my eyes. I have never lost anyone, but through this poem I could feel your pain. May God continue blessing you and filling you with his peace and joy, that peace and joy that only he can give us.

      • tina

        Gema, God blesses me every day….not always big things…..but none the less blessings….and I hold on to them with thanksgiving….God bless you for your kindness and love shown to me….Thank you….x x x

    • AnnaLee

      "letting go of my loved loved one, that I lost has been hard…..letting go of the Living one's has also been hard…..I want to hold on to them, I want them close….I have been afraid….
      So, I can see the bravery, the strength, the hard-right thing act of Naomi, letting them go to be the people God created them to be…"

      Your words are so raw, Tina. I find myself crying over them, feeling them with you. I've never felt the sting of death for a daughter… no one I've truly known and loved on a close level has passed in my life, though a friend from my childhood– a friend I should've held a lot closer, should've appreciated a lot more– did decide to leave this earth over 2 years ago. Letting go and letting God there was surreal, shocking; it's like I never really let go but it just slipped out of my hands. Now, as I've struggled to let go and to hold on to many things, your words come as SUCH an honest comfort and truth… your testimony shows me in every letter of your poem, God was there… in that moment, he was holding you, near to you, crying over your words too… that gives me much hope. I love you so, so very much, Tina. Your heart gives such encouragement and strength, shines such light on the Love of Christ.

      Father, I pray you'd help us all to let go of those you've called us to let go of. I pray you'd help us to let YOU create them into the people they were meant to be. I pray you'd help us to let go of the past. To not be afraid. To not beat ourselves up, but to know that You are God, even here. ALWAYS.
      Blessings, my dear sister.

      • tina

        AnnaLee, blessings to you too, dear one….God …I have come to believe is always there…we just don't see him in our hurts, brokenness, our disappointments….He is here….I have learnt that, and as you know my route to the Lord, was not a route most people would choose to take…it was hard to let the boys go, to be their own people, to live their dreams,.. hopes,.. lives…..but you know what…..God has a plan for each of us and His plans for them although May include me, it's about them….letting go and letting God….bless you Annalee, and thank you so very much for your encouragement and kind words, and prayers… xxx

    • Christine

      The loss is unimaginable…. But, God is close to the broke hearted. My little boy died at age 4, 23 years ago. Each day I look for One good thing in the land of the living.
      Your journaling shows you beautiful spirit. Thank you for sharing this with all

    • mreneedidier

      Oh my heart, this is absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry for the loss of your little girl but I am so happy you have been able to feel Abba beside you.

  • "Sometimes, like Naomi, we want more for our loved ones than we can promise them. When this happens, all we can do is point them to Jesus. He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect."

    
A couple of weeks ago I took some young people from a youth group I run on a trip with a number of other groups. It was a long, hard day, as each of their vulnerabilities were brought into the light and put to the test. I was drained by the end of it, wondering was it worth it? I couldn't protect them. I put them in that vulnerable place.

    But as you've written, I can't promise them everything. Jesus is the only one who can do that. Occasionally I have to let to of control, let them make mistakes and learn from them, and always be there to help them to their feet again.

    (If I'm this bad with young people in my group, I'm going to have a tough time when my own kids come along!)

    • Gema Muniz

      Becca I can relate to this as well, as a youth leader myself you get put in situations at times that you would like to take control and help them make the right decision. But unfortunately all we can do is guide them. Lead them on the right path and hope that they will continue to go down the same path. Is all about doing your part and allowing God to do his part. This same concept applies to birth children is no different, so don't be hard on yourself your already doing a great job.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Becca. I mentioned something like this in my last comment. In the end, we have to let God work in some situations. This whole "let go, let God" thing is hard, and as a youth kid, I never fully realized how tough it was for a lot of our leaders to just let us go and do our own things, despite the pain we might've caused ourselves. Nonetheless, Praise the Lord for leaders like you, who love them no matter what happens, point them to Christ, and let Him do the rest. I only hope I can be such a person as I grow and help other kids. Be blessed, Becca.

  • Ruth’s story was one my mom would always tell me, and one that stuck with me, but I always focused on Ruth’s actions. I’m coming to understand Naomi a lot more now that I’m starting my own life as an adult, and realising that I not only have a duty to follow and to support, but also to let go and to guide in a way that isn’t hovering but instead from a distance. I know that I will be let down and that I will let others down in turn, but there is a certain measure of comfort to be found in the act of conceding your desires to the actions that will benefit others more strongly than they will benefit yourself… even though it’s often a painful thing to do. I apologise for the ramble; this book is precious to me and I love being able to work through it from another angle than I normally do.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Taylor, your thoughts are amazing this morning. I too have also focused on Ruth's actions and what an amazing daughter-in-law she was to hang in there with Naomi who was sad and not to mention, bitter. But Naomi was letting go as a mother-in-law as you mentioned and "to guide in a way that isn't hovering but instead from a distance." This is such a great book for mothers, daughters, mother-in-laws, and daughter-in-laws should read together. So much to learn from for each person in their relationship role. Thank you for sharing this morning.

      • Taylor

        Thank you for your lovely reply! I agree, this book is one for sharing, especially with the other women in one’s family. (: thank you for your lovely words!

    • AnnaLee

      "To let go and guide in a way that isn't hovering but instead from a distance." That reminds me. I am no where near having a child, just becoming an adult myself, but sometimes I think of how I will mother (if I do, God willing). I quickly come to the idea of shielding my children from the things that have done me harm, including harmful, sinful relationships, depression, bad influences, not filtering media, etc. But then I realize in a larger way that a midst all this, I will have to let my children get hurt and fall into pits, just as my parents have let me. I could be the parent that hovers for their entire lives, worried sick over everything that ever happens to them… or I can trust God to be more than faithful with them, as He always has been with me. It feels rough right now, but it's so comforting to know that I don't ever have to be afraid for myself or my family.

      In the end, I don't want to keep my children from seeing how dark this world is; I don't want to shield myself from pain by not taking risks, as I have more than not, either. I want their hearts to break for it like mine has, and I hope to be such a mother who points towards Christ that they rely on Him in a real way in all things, no matter how dark. At every stage of life, especially now, I need to trust Him to show me how to live in this world without being of it. I want to have that "true religion" James talks about: "to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." ( I need Him to help me to know how to let go and how to hang on, and to what. We need Him, always. Praise God for your beautiful insight, sister; your words have said much more to me about myself than you'd realize. Sorry for writing a novel for a comment, I type as I speak. I'll be praying for you, dear friend, that the Lord would give you all wisdom, insight, strength, and faith to let go and guide from a distance, as you said. You are wonderful. Be so blessed.

  • Ruth Jean

    I'm a wanderer. But now I wanna wander with Christ; I want to walk with Him.

    • Susan

      Whoops! I hit thumbs down instead of thumbs up. I'm so glad you want to walk with Jesus!

    • dawn

      Dear Sweet Ruth,
      This makes my heart leap with joy!! The very best decision I have ever made in my life has been to follow Christ. He is my strength and my shield and my heart trusts in Him. (Psalm 28:7) I hope that you will find someone to pray with you and help disciple you.
      Oh dear girl, walking with the LORD is a wonderfully beautiful decision. So happy for you!!

      Love and hugs ~~ dawn

      • Ruth Jean

        Thank you Ms. Dawn! I am 21 years old and I have been discipled for 3yrs but recently my sister and discipler has to move to another place. And I have had this anxiety over our separation. I always would remind myself that God has plans for me yet the thought of having no one around now consumes me especially that I am journeying with finding a local Church where I can grow and be part of (because I'm not yet part of any). And in the verge of all these, I felt like wandering — with no discipler and no Church I am yet part of.

        But I want to keep it right with God. I want to trust Him in all that's going to happen. Please pray for me in my first and next steps.
        I appreciate your encouragement. You just don't know how this means a lot to me. :)))

        Love,
        Ruth

    • AnnaLee

      Ruth, I am so happy that you've come to this conclusion and decision! In my day to day life I'll find myself drifting off into other thought patterns and wanting things more over Christ… until I think something along those lines. "I want you, Jesus. I want to walk with you, not that." Praise the Lord for you, Ruth– your words are so beautiful. Praying for you, that as you wander with Christ, you'll realize that the Lord has you in the palms of His hands, and that He'll make every single step firm. Wanting to wander with Christ is the most true thing anyone could ever do; it's not wandering at all in reality, because when you're right in step with Him, you're closest to home while you still live this life. Seek Him, and EVERYTHING else will be added to you. Love you, sister. Bless you!! Keep commenting, your words are so lovely! Love you, sister.

      • Ruth Jean

        Thank you so much Ms. Anna! I couldn't thank God enough for how He has lead me here. I just discovered this site yesterday and I have been so blessed already! I am as much happy to have let out these things to you. Truly, God has a way of sending His message of love to the world. And I can see how He has sent His love to me through all of you. I am encouraged with your words as well. Thank you so much!

        Love,
        Ruth

  • Ruth Jean

    "Our dreams—some of them will die. Our churches—sometimes they will let us down. Our friends—it’s inevitable that they’ll hurt us. But, thankfully, we can continue on because we walk with Christ. He gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things."

    Amen.

    • ChristenDG

      I loved this. It really stood out to me.

    • AnnaLee

      This last part really moved me. I'm only 18, looking for/settling in slowly to a new church, and re-entering community. Knowing that Christ is the ONLY constant in all this change, that He gives me strength and shelter… he gives me the words, the courage, the heart, the love, to do the hard things… I've really been afraid of mess, of sin, of change, of life, and reading those words gave me such hope. I don't need anything or anyone as long as I have Christ, and He'll get us through the times of blessing and the times of sorrow. Praise you, Jesus.

    • Kalynda

      That was so powerful for me. I have found this to be true so many different times in my life.

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