May 20, 2014
READ: Ruth 1:1-22
May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons! (4:15-16).
Our young daughter Katelyn enjoys playing the card game solitaire, but she lacks the patience to persist through the difficult points in the game. Instead of trying to solve being ‘stuck’, she’ll simply start a new game. I’ve challenged her not to give up but to seek the next available move.
In my brief moment of motherly advice, I gained two timely life lessons: (1) Instead of giving up when life doesn’t go my way, I need to take the time to look at what I do have and seek to regain my momentum; (2) As I intentionally guide others in wisdom, I will also be encouraged and refreshed.
The book of Ruth is a story of two women who were able to teach and encourage each other. Naomi’s fading hopes were refreshed by the vitality of her daughter in law Ruth. In turn, the young woman was coached wisely by the older woman (Ruth 3:1-6).
After losing her husband and two sons, the bereft Naomi left Moab and returned to her hometown of Bethlehem (1:19-22). Before leaving, however, she implored her two daughters in law to stay in Moab. Orpah returned home, but Ruth refused to leave and clung to Naomi, vowing to follow her and adopt her ways (vv.16-17).
Naomi equipped Ruth and helped her understand the culture of her people and Ruth gained the favour of Boaz—a wealthy relative who later became her husband (2:3). Ruth then had a son with him, restoring the hope of Naomi and participating in the lineage of Jesus (Ruth 3-4).
Remember, we’re richer when we journey together—the young embracing the wisdom of the old and the old enjoying the hope and energy of the young. It’s God’s plan for us to learn from each other. —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith
Proverbs 5:1-23 ‹365-day plan
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and see the value of companionship and journeying with someone.
What will you do to encourage and restore someone’s hope today? What have you learned from others that you can pass on?