Ruth walked along the road from her homeland of Moab to the country of Judah. She felt overwhelmed with pain and defeat. Her young life had not turned out the way she dreamed. The death of her Jewish husband left her with unbelievable disappointment and insecurity. Leaving her people and former customs behind, Ruth faced the daunting task of embracing a new life in a foreign nation.
Naomi, Ruth's widowed mother-in-law, faced her own life issues of despair and hopelessness. She and her late husband hoped a temporary move to Moab would benefit their family, sustaining them until the famine in Judah was over. In swift succession, her husband and two sons died in Moab. Naomi's only option was to make the arduous trip back to Bethlehem, Judah. Penniless and bitter, she trudged along with her daughter-in-law.
On that miserable journey, Naomi tried persuading Ruth to return to her homeland for a more promising future. Life as a young Moabite woman in Judah was sure to result in ugly feelings of rejection and mistrust.
On the other han
d, Naomi was like a mother to Ruth. Naomi had introduced her to the God of Israel. Ruth's pagan gods in Moab had not satisfied her soul's search for peace. Could this be an opportunity for a new beginning? Could the God of Israel be the One for which her heart yearned? Crying profusely, she made her choice. "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" (Ruth 1:16). She refused to
abandon Naomi or Naomi's God. She placed her future in the hands of the Lord.
Sometimes life does not turn out the way we dreamed. Challenges and disappointments swirl out of control making life seem senseless. When this happens, we must do what Ruth did: pursue a deepened relationship with the true God. Trust your Heavenly Father who declares, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past....I am making a way in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18, 19). "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Ruth refused to live out her life as a victim of grim circumstances. When she lovingly cared for her mother-in-law and placed her faith in God, good things happened. Her life blossomed. God guided her to work in the grain fields of a godly man named Boaz. Ruth and Boaz soon married, and their first son was the grandfather
of the famous King David. God carried her to a new beginning!
As we recall Ruth's example, let us anticipate an exciting year of spiritual growth. When you can't have what you want, want what you have. The God of New Beginnings will cause all things to work for the good of those who love Him! (Romans 8:28).