Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” Ruth 1, verses 8-10
‘When you love someone, you set them free;’ we’ve each heard that old canard. And when they love you back, amazing things happen.
But I have to tell you the obvious truth: it’s rare to find someone who won’t desert you. Someone who is truly a ‘forever person;’ someone who will stay with you no matter what. Four years ago, my wife left me. It wasn’t a matter of me setting her free: she left me. She set me free, for our own good. I was a down, dirty dog with the way I had acted, the things I had done. She couldn’t take any more of my lies, my dysfunction, and my lack of devotion. So she left. In fact, I helped her pack. I helped her move furniture out, get the kids and herself set up, and then she left. Without compare, it was the worst moment in my life.
Several months later, she came back. Through up’s and down’s, many days of talking, and simply trying to get to know each other again, she came back. Things had changed; she had changed; I had changed. God had changed us by being there all along. Counseling helped, and so did friends, and so did she, mostly by praying and showing me that God wasn’t done with me, or us, yet. It took me awhile to see that she never really had abandoned me. She never wanted to, and had only gone away to be whole, to show that she was worth more than the terrible way I had treated her. That our relationship was worth more and she would do anything she could to prove that, whether we (as a couple) survived together or not.
Why say all this? Because Naomi found people like that in her in-law daughters. Naomi found women who thought she was worth more, worth everything. They loved Naomi and were devoted to her. She must have been an extraordinary person. More than that, they must have been extraordinary women because, when set them free and implored them to go home and be loved, they tried to stay. Pretty soon we find out how that turned out.
Isn’t that a picture of what God does for us? We should be imploring Him to stay, yet we drive Him away consistently. And He doesn’t leave. Jesus doesn’t give up on us. When we beg Him to leave us alone, even when He sometimes stands by silently, He still stands there beside us. And wherever we go, He goes there as well.
Jesus, thank you for never giving up on me.
Read Ruth 10-18.
Have you ever given up on someone? Why?
Has someone ever driven you away?
What do you think of how God sees you?