A glimpse into the journal of Naomi after returning to Bethlehem....(at least as I would picture it)
"I return back to Bethlehem a different person than I left. We left for Moab ten years ago to the day. Elimilech felt going to Moab was worth the risk to flee from the famine. Things were so desolate in Bethlehem when we left, did we really have a choice.
Coming back, things seem to be improving. You can see the life returning to the city, but I return a different woman. A widow. A mother of two sons whose smile I no longer get to see. I return questioning why God has afflicted me so. No, I refuse to be called by Naomi, I am not her anymore. No, from now on, I am to be called Mara.
So much happened while we were in Moab, the cursed land. Mahlon and Chilion both fell in love and married Orpah and Ruth. The only good thing to come from the famine. At first, when we lost Elimilech, I felt nothing worse could happen, and then Mahlon and Chilion chose to fight in the battle again Eglon. They lost their lives and my new daughters, their husbands.
What was I to do? No husband to provide, no sons to care for Ruth and Orpah. I literally had nothing to offer in a land that was not my own. I kept telling Ruth and Orpah to go back to their families. At least then they could have an opportunity to grieve, heal, and hopefully remarry to continue on their lives. This old woman couldn't offer them that.
So I decided to return to Bethlehem in Judah, and encouraged them to go back to their families. I would have, if it were me. But Ruth insisted to return with me. My sweet Ruth, you are crazy. But loyal. I am grateful for her companionship, but question why she would choose to return with a woman who God has ignored to a city that will not easily accept a Moabitess. Not only did Ruth agree to go where I go, but she has chosen to follow God. That girl, I don't know why she made the choices she has made, but I am grateful for her.
God, why have to caused all this to happen? What is your purpose? What have I done to cause this? What am I to do with Ruth? What will you do for her?"
We are studying the book of Ruth in our Bible Study. We read through "A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study" by Jennifer Hatmaker and it has GREAT tips to journaling and study scripture on your own. She encourages you to trust the Holy Spirit's teaching. I love it. It has allowed me to see so many sides of just the first chapter of Ruth. God's timing, the need for community and a support group, devotion to others.
This blog is focused on God's timing. As I started studying Chapter 1 of Ruth, God gave me a glimpse of His very intricate and intentional timing. Can you imagine going through what Naomi went through? The doubt that would follow? Questioning if God really called them to leave Bethlehem and flee the famine, when the result was death of everyone she loved? I know I would question if I had made the right decision, and would likely assume it was the WRONG decision. But look what occurred through that, look that the story God was weaving like a Tapestry. Ruth was essential and meant for Boaz, to continue the lineage of Jesus. We are but a thread in the giant tapestry of God's story. We have NO idea how God will use us and what may often feel like we are off track, may be exactly where God needs us to complete the segment of His story. God's story is beautiful, and detailed and above our comprehension. So often, I treat His timing like something small, that I can fully comprehend. That is not the case and He is not that small. Thank you God for your beautiful story you are weaving. Thank you for letting me be a part of that. I pray we trust that you have it in control and enjoy being a part of the story.