Be a Ruth

But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” – Ruth 1:16-17.

Ruth, if you remember, had lost her husband and was facing a very uncertain future. However, she made a commitment that the God of her mother-in-law Naomi was going to be her God. Ruth made a commitment and lived out that commitment becoming the great grandmother of King David. Ruth could have gone back to her own people but she chose an unknown and possibly difficult future. By choosing that course for her life, she had a godly influence upon countless descendants and is still impacting the lives of people even today.

One of the people that have had a great influence upon my life was my step-grandmother, Ruth. After her first marriage ended she married my grandfather, and they had about seven or eight good years together until my grandfather’s health deteriorated.

My grandfather was unable to work, essentially bound to the house, had a leg amputated with health sliding downwards. Ruth continued to work and faithfully care for my grandfather during those years. Even then, when I was young I marveled at her strength of character and commitment. She eventually remarried after my grandfather died but this only lasted for a short time. Ruth lived into her nineties before she passed away. She had a tough life but, oh, what an example she has been to me, and to many, many others. She has been an example of faith in spite of the bad, in spite of the storms of life, a faith that just kept on shining through and even now is an encouragement for me to live with godly character.

For years, I did not know Ruth’s real first name. When she went to school in the first grade, she didn’t like her name and told every one that she was “Ruth.” How fitting!

Life on Planet Earth can be very difficult at times, bad things do happen, and bad things happen to good people all the time. However, we have a promise in Romans 8:28 that if we love the Lord and are seeking His will in our lives that He will bring good even out of the very worst of what life brings our way: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Most likely, if life is tough for you there are those who are watching, and hopefully marveling at your faith. Your life I hope is molding the lives of those around you just as the life of my step-grandmother has molded mine.

(Commitment is not that popular any more but it should be. Because commitment to godly living will have a lasting, eternal impact upon those around you.)

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