Ruth 1:19 “So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
Ten years ago, I was still in my twenties. (Just barely.) In the last ten years, Mark and I have been in four churches and moved three times. We have gone from being just the two of us to just the four of us. We have survived infertility, a miscarriage, leukemia. We have gone through numerous pets. I have had many, many hairstyles, and even had a brief stint as a red-head. Ten years is a loooooooooong time.
Naomi had left Bethlehem ten years earlier with a husband and two sons. She returned without them. She now had a daughter, and probably a few more wrinkles, probably some gray hair. Her life had changed drastically. But now, she was home. Her family recognized her, they loved her, and they celebrated her return.
That’s how it is with family. That’s especially how it is with God’s family. Sometimes, His children leave, though He never wants them to. Sometimes, we choose to live for a long time away from Him. But He never stops loving us. He never stops wanting us to come home. And when we do come home, with weathered souls and tired spirits, we create quite a stir in the heavenly realm.
I feel certain that the angels hop around excitedly, calling out our names, and saying, “Look who’s come home!” I know that God recognizes us even from a distance, and waits eagerly for our arrival. I know that He celebrates our return, and wraps His arms around us, and says, “Can this be __________, my long lost child?”
Naomi had changed. She had experienced great loss. We always experience loss when we choose to live away from God. But now she had returned. She still had a long way to go before the raw feeling inside went away. Her journey of healing had just begun. But now, she was at a place where she could heal. She was safe, she was loved, she was home.
Dear Father, Thank You for always knowing me, even when I seem to have forgotten You. Thank You for always welcoming me home.