Grief’s slippery slope; Waiting on rain

Jessica Fannin, Reporter

     I love the name Ruth. Do you know why? Because the first Ruth I ever heard about changed my life. She was this woman who left everything she knew and loved to be there for her mother- in-law. 

     Naomi was a wife to a man named Elimelech and the mother of two sons. They lived in Bethlehem until there was a famine, so they moved to Moab where there was food. But not long after, Naomi lost her husband along with both her sons and she was left all by herself in a dangerous city. It is so easy for us to think we are doing what is right because we are doing what is easy, but in moving to Moab Naomi lost everything. 

     She wanted to return home to Bethlehem, but Ruth would not let her go on her own. She explained to the hurting mother “don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God,” (Ruth 1: 16). Her loyalty and selflessness that she would leave her family and home to be there for Naomi inspires me to be that way for people in need.  

     It was not just Naomi who experienced the pain of her loss but Ruth lost someone too, yet she would not become bitter. Despite the hard times, Ruth did not sit home and sulk. She got up and did what she could and trusted that God would show up for her. Naomi let herself become defined by her circumstances and was unfortunately too blinded by herself to see the great harvest ahead. 

      You may think, “why did God let Naomi lose her family?” Many people blame God or other people when life becomes painful, but it was Naomi’s choice to go to the city where God was not. Bitterness prevents us from seeing how He is working. Like poet Martha Snell Nicholson said, “God could not pour His riches into hands already full.”  

      In Bethlehem, Ruth went out and gleaned in the fields of a relative to Naomi. She worked hard and took care of Naomi. A widow was taking care of another widow. 

     Ruth experienced God’s harvest when she became close with Boaz, the relative of Naomi. He sees her loyalty to Naomi and lets her take food from his fields. Through her good character she attracted people in her life that would give her the love and support she was giving to others. 

     When questioning Boaz’s favor for Ruth he explained to her “you left your father and mother and your home-land and came to live with people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done,” (Ruth 2: 11-12). Making hard decisions is a mountain that we have to repeatedly climb. Ruth had a choice between something that would benefit herself and seemed easy and supporting someone she loved while taking a leap of faith. 

     From her leap of faith, Boaz developed a relationship with Ruth and they married each other. Even though she left what felt comfortable and safe, when Ruth did not pursue the easy way out she received a home, food, and love. Her hands were filled with blessing when she turned towards the Lord in her grief.  

     “Jesus redeems everything for our good, even the things that seem impossible for good to come from,” (Romans 8:28). By marrying Ruth, Boaz also restored Naomi’s life as a mother and a grandmother. From this, Naomi slowly started to realize God’s hand that was on her shoulder in the form of Ruth, a loyal companion that provided for her needs. She was never alone from the beginning.  

     It is not always obvious to you what He is doing but Jesus is always working whether it is through a comforting hug at the right moment, a song on the radio whose lyrics responds to your worries, or a stunning sunset after an exhausting day.