Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Do you have a Ruth in your life?

I have seen a few blog posts circulating around Pinterest discussing "why I don't have a best friend." While some may agree, I find it very discouraging to "discourage" women from having friends of whom they consider their dearest.

I had many "best friends" throughout my adolescent life, some of which brought me great sadness, and others of which brought me great joy. As an adult, however, the term "best friend" has a completely different meaning. I have many friends, and I truly believe God hand picked each of them to be apart of my life, each having a special place in my heart, for a very special reason. Without them, I would not be the Christian woman I am today.

I do not publicly claim to have a "best" friend, but I know in my heart of hearts that God places a single person in each of our lives to touch us in a way that no one else can, or has.

touching story of friendship can be found in the Bible, in the book of Ruth. In just 4 chapters, God touches our hearts with the importance and value of friendship. 

A woman, named Naomi, was blessed with two daughter-n-laws of which she loved dearly, it was one, however, who God chose to faithfully stick by her side. 

Naomi was faced with many hardships. She not only had to leave the home she knew and loved and move to an unfamiliar land, but she also lost her husband and two sons, leaving her widowed and childless. 

All that was left to Naomi was her two daughter-n-laws. 

Stricken with heartache, she decided to return to her home in Bethlehem-Judah. Knowing that she could offer no more to the two women, she selflessly insisted her daughter-n-laws stay behind to marry another. While one complied to her mother-n-law's wishes, the other, Ruth, loyal as she was, refused, and promised to stay by her dear friends side until the end of time. "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from the following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." 

Ruth followed Naomi to her home in Bethlehem-Judah, as promised.  

Upon arrival, Ruth's selflessness and loyalty to Naomi is once again shown.

A law in Israel at that time, stated that after a field is harvested, a portion is to be left for the poor and helpless. So, Ruth goes to "glean" in the fields as to provide food for her and her mother-n-law. The owner of the field, Boaz, a godly man, takes up an interest with Ruth, and asks God to bless her for her work, while also going above the requirements of the law to make sure she is provided for. At the end of this touching story, Boaz takes Ruth to be his wife, and she bares Naomi a grandson.

The other women describe Ruth as a respectable, loyal woman saying, "for thy daughter-n-law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons."

Ruth was not just Naomi's daughter-n-law, but also her truest and most loyal friend. God sent Ruth to help Naomi through the troubles of life, to be a provider, a comforter, and most importantly to be the barer of the lineage of King David, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When Ruth's husband passed away, she could have easily chosen to abandon her mother-n-law, and marry again in Moab, but her loyalty lied with Naomi, her dearest friend. Their friendship lasted the test of time, and through Ruth's faithfulness, God used her in a mighty way.

In this very small, but powerful book, God shows us the importance of a friend.

Jesus, our very own Lord and Savior, was born from this very friendship.

God used an unfortunate circumstance and a faithful friend, to fulfill His plan of salvation.

The moral of the story, is that God places friends in our lives because he believes friendship to be very important; if you are fortunate enough that he blesses you with a Ruth, you are a blessed person indeed. 

-Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Please Lord, help us to be a Ruth to someone in need, help us to touch her as Ruth touched Naomi. Bless our friendships, and help us to keep them centered around you Lord. Without you, we are nothing. 

God blessed me with a Ruth, and I am forever grateful. 

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