Please read the whole book of Ruth when you have an opportunity.
Scripture: But Ruth replied, “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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17 NIV
Scripture: Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:11-12 NIV
Observation: To understand my connection to Ruth I need to give you a little history. Elimelech and his wife Naomi along with their two sons Mahlon and Kilion left Judah during a time when there was a famine and settled in Moab. During that time Mahlon and Kilion married Moab women. Mahlon to Orpah and Kilion to Ruth. Moabites were not believers in the God of Abraham. They were pagan worshippers. In the years that followed Elimelech, Mahlon and Kilion all died. This left the three women alone. Naomi desired to return to her home in Judah, so she told her sons’ widows to return to their mother and father to be with their own people. Ruth begged Naomi to allow her to stay with her as she now believed in the same God that Naomi did. She knew going back to her people would lead her back into the Moabite lifestyle of sin, (my interpretation). She also felt a responsibility to care for Naomi. So together they travelled home to Bethlehem in Judah.
Observation: The Lord gave me the same opportunity as Ruth. Let me explain. I was raised in a home of non-believers. My parents worshipped each other and their god was the god of prosperity. I spent most of my life trying to understand the ways of Christ. I always fell terribly short since there was no Christian faith practiced in my home, let alone modeling Christ like values for me and my brother. Our home was full of self-centeredness, distorted family values and continual worship the idols of this world. Just to bring reality home for you, during a conversation with my mother she was telling me about a “really good” person see had met. I asked her what made this person good. She replied, “he has a lot of money, he’s a doctor, and he’s good-looking.” Her impression of what “good” was had nothing to do with the character of this person. He literally could have been an axe-murderer. As you might imagine this way of thinking was a huge influence on me as I was growing up. Many times I prayed for deliverance from myself. I knew God was real, I just didn’t understand how personal he could be and how he wanted to provide guidance and safety for me. I read in the Bible how he loved me and that I was his child. After many years of prayer and declaring the Lord as my King he answered my prayers. Just like Ruth the Lord gave me an opportunity to leave my past and seek out a place where I could grow as his child. For Ruth it was Judah; Laurie it is Kansas. Ruth had the responsibility of caring for her Mother-in-law, Naomi. I was blessed with the responsibility of helping a wonderful Christian man raise his two amazing children Andrew and Ashley through their teenage years. People who don’t understand may say “she ran away from home.” However, believers understand that sometimes it takes a paradigm shift for someone to break the chains of sin and live a life of freedom according to God. Just like Ruth,”May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge,” Ruth 2:12 NIV, married a good man named Boaz, I have prospered in so many ways with Doug. He is a blessing from the Lord to me. As for those I left in California the Lord has told me he will redeem them in his timing. I pray for the Lord to be speedy in that.
To those of you that are struggling as Christians, look at your life. Pray for the Lord to instruct you in what areas of your life you are struggling with sin and ask for deliverance. Remember to stay the course in obedience to Him. Share your deepest concerns, he can’t help you unless you confess to him. Wait on the Lord to give you counsel. Christ wants you at your best with the ability to worship and serve him without distraction. He wants you to be strong with the ability to weather any storm that comes.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your deliverance. Without your patience and love I would be lost to Satan. Thank you for seeing my love for you during the toughest times in my life. Lord, thank you for my loving husband who blesses me with his love for you, his protective nature over me and his wonderful friendship. Lord help us to share your love and truth with those we have in our family and those you bring into our lives. Lord, give us the strength to face Satan’s attempts to draw us away for you. Amen