There are many women in Scripture with whom I have felt a special kinship. Ruth is one of those women.
As I study her amazing, yet quiet story, I realize that the lives of women have not changed that much in the 3,000 years since the resilient and remarkable Ruth walked upon planet Earth.
Ruth experienced trauma and heartbreak when her husband died at a very young age. Ruth was a childless widow who was living in a time of great famine. She was alone, with no hope for a vibrant future, and suffered hunger pangs every day.
Have you seen yourself in Ruth's story yet? Has loneliness become your best, and perhaps your only, friend? Has your future been stolen from you? Perhaps you are hungry for more of life but are not sure where to find it.
Ruth traveled with her mother-in-law along the dusty road to Bethlehem. The name "Bethlehem" means "the house of bread." The importance of this vivid symbolism cannot be understated. You need bread more than you need a husband, children or a future! You need the bread of the Word of God—you need His sustenance and His provision when life has left you void of significance. You must go where the bread is—and the bread is tasted in the Word of God!
Like Ruth, I must follow where the bread of His Word leads me. And, just as Ruth did, I must declare His lordship in my life.
"Your God will be my God," were the words the young widow spoke to her mother-in-law, Naomi. With those six words alone, Ruth established her faith. As you are dealing with raw discouragement and relentless suffering, I hope that you mimic the choices that Ruth made: pursue the bread of the Word and declare His lordship in your life.
Perhaps you know the rest of Ruth's story—she gathered grain in the fields of Boaz who was a relative of her husband's family. Boaz took note of Ruth and reached out to her in kindness and in provision. Boaz has been known through history as the "kinsman redeemer" of Ruth the Moabitess. He married her, provided for her and gave her a future in his family. Boaz and Ruth had a son together, Obed, who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Never underestimate the power of reading the bread of Life, which is the Word of God. Never lose sight of the power that is yours when you declare the lordship of Jesus Christ in spite of pain and disappointment. The Lord will provide for you just as He did for Ruth. Your future will go from non-existent to significant when you eat of the Word and use your tongue to honor Him.
You, too, have a kinsman Redeemer, and His name is Jesus. Jesus stepped in and rescued you when you were lonely, hungry and hopeless. He has given you a hope and a future that is so rare and so beautiful that it will change the generations of your family to come.
Carol McLeod is a best-selling author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She is the author of several books, including StormProof, Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart and Grace Your Tongue and Pass the Joy, Please!
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