“But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (NLT)
Have you ever had a friend that was just having a bad week? Nothing goes right. Their hair won’t comb right, their clothes get torn, their cars break down and their coffee is made wrong at Starbucks! Sometimes, things just go bad for no reason. There was a woman in the Bible, named Naomi, that was not just having a bad week, but a bad set of years. She had to move to a foreign country with her husband and two boys. While she was there, her husband and her boys died, leaving her without any form of finance and with two daughters-in-law.
Naomi did not have an enviable life. Her life was defined by struggle and sadness. With nowhere to turn, she decided to turn back to her hometown. Maybe there would be some family, or friends that could help support her just while she got back onto her feet. The problem was that she was going to have to leave her daughters-in-law that she no doubt loved. After all, it would not be fair to bring these foreign women back to her hometown, so she said goodbye.
Both of the young ladies had a choice. They could go back and restart their life, hope to be married, and maybe one day have a family of their own. The alternative was to follow this woman back to her hometown where they would be strangers and have little chance of ever finding the life that they dreamed of. This choice seems pretty easy, doesn’t it?
Well, one of Naomi’s daughters-in-law did turn around. She felt pain and sadness for having to leave, but this was the best choice for her, and she was not really wrong for making it. But the other woman, for some unknown reason, decided that she would not leave Naomi. She would stay with her mother-in-law, not only accompanying her back to her hometown, but promising to stay and be buried there as well.
Her name was Ruth. Ruth made a difficult decision to honor her mother-in-law, to stay loyal and loving in the most difficult times. Ruth went forward not having any clue what this decision might mean for her, but she knew that Naomi needed a friend, someone to stand by her. Ruth decided that she would be that friend, even if she was the only one.
Maybe God would have you be someone’s Ruth. Maybe there is a person in your life that needs a friend, who is having a bad day or bad week. Maybe they feel all alone and afraid for what their future holds. A person who is like Ruth stands there and says, “I’ll stand beside you even when it gets hard.”
Would you be willing to be someone’s Ruth? The Naomi’s of this world will thank you!