Ruth 1:18 “When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”
I love this little verse. Hidden within its words is the wisdom of the ages. Or at least the wisdom of the aged. Those of us who have lived a little, who have experienced some difficult things have learned what Ruth learned: it gets easier.
Oh, I don’t mean that life gets easier, though it sometimes does. But rather, it gets easier to stand firm, the more we do it. In most every experience in life, pressure weakens us. It tears us down and wears us out. But faith in God never weakens us. It always, always makes us stronger.
As Ruth clung to Naomi, she clung to God. Her pledge to Naomi was a pledge to God. Unlike Orpah, who chose not to cling, Ruth held fast. And through the holding, her resolve was strengthened. She became more and more determined to follow Naomi, to follow her God no matter what. And while Naomi’s words caused Orpah to turn around, they did nothing for Ruth.
Finally, Naomi gave up, and Ruth’s journey became a little easier. As we live in faith, as we stand determined to follow our God, there will be people around us who will try to make us turn around. But if we cling to Him, God will give us strength. And God’s strength will always outlast the strength of those who would discourage us. Hold on. They will give up. And following God will get easier.
The longer we hold on, the stronger we will become in our faith. The stronger we become, the smaller the obstacles around us will seem. Finally, one day, we will discover that the very things that seemed to threaten our relationships to God will have disappeared. They are no longer a problem for us, for they now seem small and petty and weak, in comparison to the strength we have gained through our faith in God.
Dear Father, Thank You for giving me strength to endure through the pressures of life. Thank you for making me stronger, so that my problems seem smaller. And Father, just as You caused Naomi to leave Ruth alone, please make this problem _______________________ disappear.
I give thanks for His sustaining power that strengthens, encourages, and moves us forward. Thank you for your encouragement and for delving into one of my favorite Old Testament books.