Thursday, April 16, 2015

Great-grandmother to a King

This week we've been talking about how adversity can offer a door to hope. It's not that hope makes the pain of losses any less, but it does give way to a brighter future no matter what the circumstances are. Today's character is Ruth; it's such a beautiful story. As most stories do, it starts out with conflict and trouble. Ruth had married young and her husband died after about 10 years. To make matters worse, as real life does, there was a famine in the land. Naomi decided to return to Judah to her family since her husband and two sons were dead.

Ruth decided that she was going to remain loyal to Naomi and go with her to Judah. Naomi tried to discourage her by telling here there was no hope. She told Ruth, Go for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons would you therefore wait until they were grown?....for the hand of the Lord is against me.(Ruth 1:12-13)

The custom of the day would have been for Ruth or Naomi to marry a brother of their deceased husband who could raise up children in his brother's name. Naomi had no other sons and she was a widow herself. There really was no hope in the womb. Ruth decided to see despair as a window of hope and she pledged her loyalty to her mother-in-law and returned to Judah with her. This had to be a difficult decision. She had lost her husband and was leaving her native land and traveling to a foreign one. But her great adversity became very hope-filled.

Naomi's kinsman, Boaz ended up redeeming Naomi according to the custom of the day. This meant that he ultimately provided for her and took her as his bride. Through their union - which occurred because of an adverse situation, Ruth gave birth to Obed; he was Jesse's father. And Jesse was the father of our beloved King David. So even though her situation was painful, she became the great-grandmother of a king.

Things had looked bleak, as they often do in life. Naomi stated there was no hope and she felt like the hand of the Lord was against her. It can be easy when life piles up on you to feel that way. Honestly, I've felt that way many times. It can seem like there is nothing good and that life has taken aim at you. Or maybe it's just me! Caregiving is a rocky ride at best and stressful situations abound and have a tendency to snowball on you at times. But there is always hope. Adversity and pain are not signs that God is against you. Sometimes it seems options are few and there is no end to pain. But there is always hope on the horizon. Remember that He is the God of hope. From the darkest seasons of our lives will come a ray of light and hope will arise. What an opportunity to trust Him more!

Today I will meditate on how He opens up a door of hope even in adversity. I will not dedicate my time to my trouble; but instead I will look ahead to where He is leading. When I feel like life has blinded me - I will trust Him to give me new vision and hope. I will trust Him for today and for tomorrow for there is hope. Will you join me?

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