What a Character!

Read it! Ruth 1

At this they wept again.

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

Vs 14

Think it through

When I’ve read Ruth in the past, I’ve tended to focus on, well, Ruth. But today it’s Naomi who’s calling for my attention, speaking to my heart.

Naomi has never been my favorite person. Her protestations that her daughters-in-law should turn back after they’d already left (could she not have mentioned this earlier?), combined with her self-imposed name change in verse 20, seem like attention-seeking and nearly manipulative behavior to me. But maybe I’ve been reading Naomi all wrong.

What struck me today is the weeping of Orpah and Ruth. And that Ruth, matriarch of the line of David and ancestor of Jesus himself, clung to Naomi on the road. Ruth wasn’t acting merely out of a sense of duty or responsibility or even worry about what would become of Naomi. Ruth clearly loved her deeply.

So Naomi must have been lovable, a wonderful woman of God. Her roadside release of Orpah and Ruth must have been sincere, her spoken blessings heartfelt. Her faith was strong enough that she would continue on her own.

Yet verses 20 and 21 still bother me. I have so much sympathy for Naomi regarding the loss of her husband and sons; I simply cannot imagine it. But Naomi wasn’t empty. She had a tremendously full, faithful, loving friendship with Ruth. And her God.

It seems to me that she was missing the importance of them both.

 

Live it like you mean it

What blessings do we overlook when we focus on our hurt and disappointment? What are we, as sincere lovers of the Lord, missing?

Even on the micro scale of a “bad day,” I tend to build a list of the things that are going wrong rather than focusing on the things that are going right. How much more do I dwell on my afflictions when I’m in real pain, physically or relationally?

The next time I have a bad day, I’m going to stop and read Ruth 1. In fact, I’m going to put a card that says “Ruth 1” in my chore card box and lay it out each day this week. Maybe just seeing the card will keep me from focusing on the negative… no more bad days!

What can you do to keep your hurt from blocking the view of your blessings? Will you join me in keeping Ruth 1 fresh on your mind?

 

Lift it up

Lord, I’m so sorry for the times that I’ve allowed my disappointments and hurts to obscure my view of the blessings You’ve given me. I want to keep my eyes heavenward and my heart open to Your glorious works in my life. Please help my stubborn heart to be more and more like Yours every day. I love You and praise You for who You are. Amen.

 

Tell Me About It

How do you keep your heart happy on those “bad days”?

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