God sent me another reminder today — do unto others…
The Bible opened to the Book of Ruth. If you have not read it, it is worth the read. It’s a relatively short chapter and tells the story of Ruth, who stands by her mother-in-law, Naomi, when Ruth’s husband (Naomi’s son) dies. Naomi begs Ruth to abandon her, and essentially save herself, telling her that she is too old, but Ruth can go on and find a new husband. Ruth refuses.
But Ruth said, “Do not press me to go back and abandon you! Wherever you go I will go, 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 be buried. May the LORD do thus to me, and more, if even death separates me from you!”
Ruth does unto others as she would have them do unto her. She puts Naomi’s needs above her own. And she finds the way to happiness for both her and Naomi. Without abandoning Naomi, she finds a new husband and gives birth to a child, who will become the grandfather to David. And along the way she helps Naomi, who initially appeared to have given up. After her husband and then her sons died, Naomi felt that God was against her. But by the end, thanks to Ruth’s faithfulness, Naomi is being reminded of how great God is:
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the LORD who has not failed to provide you today with a redeemer. May he become famous in Israel! He will restore your life and be the support of your old age, for his mother is the daughter-in-law who loves you. She is worth more to you than seven sons!” Naomi took the boy, cradled him against her breast, and cared for him. The neighbor women joined the celebration: “A son has been born to Naomi!” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The Book of Ruth told me two things: Do good for others and good will come to you. And don’t doubt God’s plan. It was certainly a hard journey for both Ruth and Naomi, but how important the journey was.
Your plans are great and sometimes mystical to me. Sometimes, I just don’t understand. Help me to never give up. Help me to trust in you. Help me to put the needs of others ahead of my own, even when doing so seems to be against my interests. Help me to realize that your interests are my interests.