Monday, June 1, 2009

Encouraged by Ruth

We've been in our new church for over two months now I believe. Wow.
It is a wonderful place and we are definitely awed and abundantly thankful for God's provision in providing such Christ centered and Christ loving people for us to follow and worship with. I know that when people leave churches, sometimes they wander and visit for what seems to be forever or they simply get discouraged and go...nowhere. We (the man and I) are quite aware of this blessing and hope that our hearts heal soon and we can begin to fully accept that this is where God has us. I think we already are. There are good days and bad of course. As I write this, it's a good one.
Last night I was driving home and I heard a preacher on the radio (the ONE Christian radio station we have in our state) and he was speaking of Ruth. He quoted Ruth's famous words to her mother-in-law after just having become a widow: Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Ruth 1:17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you."
I was so encouraged when the preacher followed with stating that he recently wondered about Ruth's own mom and dad and family--why had she not decided to go back there, to her comfort zone (surely.) She made a decision to continue in the life she was progressing toward. How devoted she was, of course it must have been so uncomfortable. Even though Naomi was her mother-in-law and she obviously cared for her, the relationship couldn't have been a deep one since Ruth wasn't married very long before her husband died and she became a widow. Her words showed that she cared more about Naomi than herself and wanted to "make" Naomi's God her God as well. The Lord definitely had a plan and was leading Ruth.
I am so encouraged by Ruth's determination and decision. For the past week or so, I've been feeling so grievous over the loss of our congregation that we served and fellowshiped with for eight years. I miss that family that I've left behind. But, God had us move on and I must be determined to honor that and let my heart move on as well. The way Ruth stated what her life would now be has caused a decision in my heart and mind as well. It's amazing how someone's life that is so completely unrelated to you can be used in such an encouraging way. Thank you Ruth for the encouragement. Are blogs read in Heaven? Maybe I'll be able to thank her some day myself, Lord willing. If your listening Ruth, kiss my babies for me. And my Grandmas. Don't get all theologistical on me, I'm not really chatting to Ruth--or am I?
I'm so thankful to God for having Ruth's life be recorded so that I may draw wisdom from her.