Key verse: John 16:20, “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
Having peace and having joy are very different. I know all too well the discomfort and pain of walking through a giant storm. A storm nearly always starts small and then builds and builds until it becomes a
hurricane. The lights go out, windows break, and basement floods. Do you see what I’m saying here?
Let’s take a small glance at Ruth, daughter-in-law to Naomi. When we first open this book we see that Naomi was married to Elimelech, who died after moving his family to Moab. They had two sons who married Orpah and Ruth. Now, with no explanation, those two sons also died leaving all three of these women
widows. Naomi missed her homeland of Judah and decided that since the Lord was providing for her people there she would return. So she gathers up her things, cleans out her house, says good-bye to friends she has made, and, with her two daughter-in-laws, she heads down the road. It wasn’t long into the journey that Naomi turns to the two women and tells them to return to their mother’s house so they may be able to marry again and have children (Ruth 1:8-9). Both Orpah and Ruth refuse at first, but Naomi tried harder to convince them that a life with her was no life at all and Orpah then said her good-byes as she wept. Ruth, however, was as headstrong as Naomi and in verses sixteen and seventeen it says that Ruth pleaded for Naomi not to send her away. Ruth says, “Where you will go I will go…Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Girlfriend was stubborn and she was not leaving Naomi.
It is safe to say that these women went through a storm. They lost their husbands, had no money, nothing to support themselves on, and no hope of a future. Do you feel this way? No hope in your storm?
Ruth, having lost all dear to her, was not going to let any obstacle separate her from Naomi. She knew that she could still learn a great deal from Naomi and found comfort in her mother-in-law. These women found joy in each other. Listen here, we later find out that Ruth does remarry to Boaz, handsome guy, and they have children together to which Naomi becomes grandma to them. Naomi
is not left aside when Ruth makes a new family, but she is brought into the family with whole hearts.
Your storm may look different today. You may have lost a child, lost a job, finances are not enough. You may have a broken marriage, a hard relationship or even been diagnosed with a disease. Whatever your
storm there is hope and there is joy to be found. 1 Chronicles 16:27 says, “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.”
Father, we come to You, storm in hand, and ask that You lead us to Your dwelling place where we will find joy and strength to persevere. Amen.
Action: Keep reading the story of Ruth. Isaiah 35:10, John 15:9-11, James 1:2-3 possess great encouragement for your journey. While you are walking through a storm take some time off from your worry and brokenness and focus on the needs of others. Ask, “How can I help you?”