A Friend Like Ruth

Have you ever had a time in your life when you were just unhappy? Maybe things didn’t turn out the way you thought they would. Maybe you lost a loved one, a job, or a friend. Maybe you simply weren't as far along in your journey as you thought you would be at that point.

It’s discouraging, heartbreaking, and even downright depressing sometimes. We may feel like we’re walking through a dark valley with no end in sight, no hope to keep us going; and often we withdraw from others as a result.

In the story of Ruth, I see this desolate feeling in Naomi. Her husband and two sons had passed away, and all she had left were two daughter-in-laws from the foreign land of Moab where they were living. There was nothing left for her there, so she decided to go home to Judah. At first, her daughters wanted to go with her, but she urged them to return to their home. She was feeling sorry for herself and didn’t want to drag them down with her. They had so much life ahead of them, but she felt she did not.

READ: Ruth 1:1-13

JOURNAL: Can you remember a time when you felt like Naomi? Did you push people away as a result? Explain what was going on in your life that made you feel this way and withdraw from others.

One eventually conceded and turned back, but the other, Ruth, pressed on with Naomi.

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. - Ruth 1:14-18 NIV

I honestly don’t blame Orpah for returning home. She’s been through great loss herself, and I imagine, she longed for comfort from her own family. She wasn’t in it for the long haul, and that’s ok. It wasn’t her calling.

But Ruth stayed. She continued on with Naomi and traveled by her side. Despite Naomi’s bleak outlook and sour disposition, Ruth was determined to remain with her to the very end.

Maybe you know a Ruth in your life, that person who stands by you through thick and thin. They’re the one who doesn’t let you push them away when the going gets tough. You can tell them you’ve got everything under control and don’t need their help, but they’re going to show up anyway! God knows we all need someone like that.

Do you have a Ruth in your life? Are you a Ruth to someone else? Take a few minutes to thank God for those who show up for the mountain tops and the valleys just the same. Thank Him for those who can see when you’re hurting and don’t let you push them away. Ask Him to show you someone who may need a Ruth in their life. Ask Him to reveal the quiet needs they won't express. Then show up and be that person for them. You just never know how it may impact their life. 
We'd love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments what God is speaking to you as you read these devotionals. If you haven't already subscribed to receive our devotional emails right to your inbox, hit the subscribe button below and invite your family and friends to subscribe as well! Thank you for being a part of our Opendoor Devotional Community. We appreciate you!

1 Comment

Lauren Kennedy - April 10th, 2024 at 4:56am

I love this perspective, Theresa 👏🏻🩷 I’ve been on the receiving end of this type of friendship, and it’s been so impactful!