As I sit here considering the life of Ruth, I feel a strong desire to have the heart of Ruth. One that is loyal, fearless, and careful to heed the advice of Naomi. One thing Ruth didn’t do was leave Naomi despite Naomi’s arguments. Ruth’s answer was to remain loyal to Naomi. She looks sweetly at her grieving mom-in-law and whispers, “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” In the face of her own great loss, she had every excuse to abandon Naomi, and no one would have faulted her. Yet, she laid down her pride, wants, and desires to ensure Naomi was taken care of and she chose to follow our amazing God.
Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” Ruth, knowing that she was dependent on the kindness of Naomi’s distant relative Boaz, Ruth’s desire to work in his fields is confirmed by Naomi. Ruth knew enough to know she didn’t know everything. She allowed her broken heart to see past her hurt and be open to the path God had placed before her.
It was around this time of year when my mother-in-law went to be with the Lord. Betty was a strong tenacious type of woman and she loved her family with a great big love. Being that my husband was her youngest son out of eight children, I felt it a privilege to have lived with her while newly married. She taught me so many things. She showed me what decency looked like and how it was better to be selfless than selfish. The lessons needed when you’re a new mommy at 20 years old. I’ll be honest, I didn’t always have the maturity or grace to welcome her advice but they have stuck with me even now as my son is nearing adulthood. I miss her dearly.
As we enter into the Christmas season, it’s easy to see the faults in our family members. A time reserved for family can often be stressful when our expectations of others aren’t often met. I encourage you to see past your hurts and pride, to enter into family time with a spirit of gratitude. Sit at the feet of someone wiser than you are and glean from them all that you can while you can. I would give anything for Betty to be here for Christmas, to hear her laugh, to hug her neck, and watch her love on her grandchildren. I know she’s with Jesus but man, I wish we could see her now. Don’t let these precious opportunities pass you by.
After Ruth marries Boaz, she conceives Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:14 says, “The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” Dear ones, the Lord has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. He is Jesus. He has come, and He has come to save us. Rest in the truth that you are not alone. Let’s thank God together for sending His son, our redeemer. Let’s pray for a Ruth shaped heart, and that we grow with the infusion of His grace and mercy.