I want to tell you a story about a woman who once lost everything, yet she never lost her faith. Her father in law died. Her brother in law died. Her husband died. And so, she could no longer remain where she was. She could either return home to the familiar or she could travel with her mother in law back to a new and unknown place.
This new place didn’t seem to offer much hope, yet something pressed on her to remain with her mother in law. Going home would have been so much easier, but Ruth decided to recklessly follow her mother in law, Naomi, to an unknown country.
Turn back into comfort or move forward into destiny?
Just like Ruth, we come upon crossroads in our lives. Every day we have to make the choice of whether to turn back to comfort or move forward into our destiny. The sensible decision is to turn back and go home. Our human logic tells us that. Going back home to her family that she knew, who shared the same customs and held the same beliefs that she did would have been more comfortable for Ruth than going somewhere new with Naomi. In addition, at home, she had a greater chance of being married again (and she really desired marriage). If she followed Naomi, it was very likely that she would remain a widow for the rest of her life.
So, why did she follow Naomi?
“Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth didn’t follow Naomi hoping to gain something; she followed because she never wanted to leave this new mother figure in her life. She loved Naomi. So, she went with her into a new and scary place. She didn’t suddenly stop wanting a new husband (she still did!) but her priorities were straight. Naomi was more important to her than a husband. And so, even without a husband, Ruth was determined to follow Naomi even to death.
Ruth’s faithfulness and love for Naomi were what led her to her blessing. In fact, the way Ruth followed Naomi reminds me of the way we should follow God. We should follow Him not in hope to be blessed but simply because we love Him. Then, of course, since He loves us, He will bless us.
Upon entering Bethlehem, Ruth wanders into a field to glean barley for food. Little did she know, she had wandered into the field of Boaz, a wealthy kinsman of Naomi’s late husband, Elimelech. Boaz showed her great kindness and grace and let her glean wherever she wanted to in the field. She eventually married Boaz and became one of Jesus’ ancestors.
Move forward into the unknown
I don’t know where you are in life, but God wants you to move forward into the unknown. I know going back seems so much more appealing than moving forward but God has so much more prepared ahead of you than what was ever behind you. Recklessly abandon everything and follow your Savior. Forward.
Faith is much more than just believing God will do something for you. It’s all about following Him even when it makes absolutely no sense to follow Him. Follow Him even when He’s taking you to a place that’s totally and completely unfamiliar. You might not know where you’re going but be confident that you know who you’re going with.
Then, boldly say,”I will not leave you. Where you go, I will go.”