The Power of a Transformed Life
Alison Hill ponders the story of Ruth and Naomi, and points out how the influence of God in Ruth’s life affected her life decisions.
When I look at the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Old Testament, it seems that the closer I look the more I see. I have been astounded by the impact Naomi and her family must have had on her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth.
During the early years of Ruth's marriage, she would have experienced a new way of life and living, as this Israelite family brought with them all of their traditions and their faith in God. She would have seen them as a strong family who were courageous enough to start a new life in a new land.
Unfortunately, this was not the case as God requires His people to trust Him during difficult times. This steadfast trusting is the very thing that causes us to push through to a new level in our walk with God.
This unnecessary move cost them dearly, as Elimilech died soon after entering enemy territory. His sons died ten years later with no children to continue the family line. Due to famine in their own country they began a new life with the Moabite people. This was not God's best for them; He requires us to trust Him beyond our difficult circumstances.
Our lives are perceived by those around us in many different ways, but unless we go to the author and perfector of our faith we will see our lives through the world’s eyes. When our breath is taken away by those circumstances that we thought would never happen to us, God asks us to come up higher where the air is purer, and we are able to breath as we seek His face for His perspective on our lives.
Naomi became bitter as she saw her life as most people around her saw it, "as a tragedy, and cursed." Ruth 1:13 "...,because the Lord's hand has gone out against me!"
If Naomi had been around her own people at that time, she would have been surrounded by those who would have spoken words to change her bitterness to humility, towards a God who had His hand over her life in ways that were yet to be revealed.
Ruth was whisked off her feet by this young man from Bethlehem and his family, and yet disaster struck very early on in this family’s life. Orpah and Ruth lost their husbands at roughly the same time. I'm sure there must have been much talk in the villages about how people perceived their lives, and yet only God knows the reasons for the tragedy that beset this family.
Why would Ruth want to remain in a family with such tragedy? In fact not only did she want to remain with Naomi but she said, "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
What was it that attracted Ruth to Naomi's people and her God? All she had experienced was loss, grief, despair and barrenness.
I believe that Ruth saw God in Naomi and her family during the ten years they were all together. We must never underestimate the light that shines through our lives as we remain faithful in our day to day lives.
Ruth must have been so impacted by the prayers and the stories of faith that would have been spoken about during those ten years, that she was caught up in the knowledge of God. To leave her parents, family and land after being surrounded by such disaster shows that she was able to see God, despite the tragedy. Ruth had found something that was far more valuable than anything she had experienced with her own people.
As we ponder this at a time of year when many look at the cross and the significant steps people take to enter into the family of God; let us take note of the transformation that takes place within each one of us.
In Naomi's bitterness, she asked to be called Mara, Ruth 1:20, which means bitter. Ruth was impacted by Naomi's faith, regardless of this statement and all that she had witnessed. God shines through each one of us, even when we are at our worst. It symbolises the power of the cross and the power of a transformed life, with God in our midst, always shining out to those we meet.
Be confident in this as your live your life; knowing that no matter what happens and how you react, your life is telling the story of the one who came to save many - Jesus!
The above image is courtesy of www.pixabay.com
Alison Hill has been involved in Christian ministry for twenty five years and attends her local church in King's Lynn, Norfolk.
She runs Butterfly Ministries, offering Christian workshops to churches, conferences, small and large gatherings, bringing teaching that encourages growth in all areas of Christian life. She is also an author, now writing her third book.
She believes that Christianity is about walking with God daily and learning about His ways through His Word and hearing His voice.
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.