“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Naomi has urged her two daughters-in-law to return to their homes. In the middle of a circle of tears, Orpah says goodbye and turns toward home. At the same time, Ruth clings to Naomi and refuses to turn away, promising to go where Naomi goes and to trust in her God.
People in sorrow and loss sometimes just want to be alone. They may even have a view that everyone would be better off if they just were not around. But isolation can be a tool of Satan that leads to even more trouble and sorrow.
Naomi is wrestling with God, but she will not wrestle alone. God doesn’t mean for the journey of faith to be a solitary walk. Even Jesus wanted his disciples with him when he struggled in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-34).
As Naomi returns home, she says to others, “I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” Sorrow and loss can distort our view of the world and even our view of God. Naomi is not really returning empty.
The harvest time is just beginning, and God has given Naomi a gift in calling Ruth to stand by her side. In the midst of loss, God provides Naomi a family.
Dear God, help me to see today anyone who needs me to stand by their side. May you move me from my comfort zone to be of comfort to another. May the Comforter direct me, I pray. Amen.
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