Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kindred Spirits


"Love me, please, I love you. . . So ask of me anything ... I am not a tentative person. Whatever I do, I give up my whole self to it."

Edna Saint Vincent Millay

Leaving the rolling hills of a fertile, high country, the three women embarked on the southward journey that would lead them home. All were grieving. One, embittered by the pain and emptiness only loss can bring, another, confused about her own will and future, and one, resolute with love, beholden to the embittered woman, who had been her peace and comfort, all moved forward to a new life.

Along the dusty road, Naomi turned to her daughters-in-law. "Go back. Go home and live with your mothers. And may God treat you as graciously as you treated your deceased husbands and me. May God give each of you a new home and a new husband" (Ruth 1:8-9). Naomi wept before them. Her suffering was unpalatable. And Naomi's heart still yearned for the young widows, who also suffered from the enemy of death.

Their eyes stinging from hot tears, their faces stained by streams of sorrow, Orpah and Ruth pled with Naomi, "No, we're going on with you to your people" (Ruth 1:10). The mother-in-law would not have it. Why should they follow her, an old, barren woman, who thought the Lord's hand against her, who had no more sons to offer them, no hope in providing a future for two young women, whose lives were open before them?

Orpah turned back. She reverted to her family and the gods of Moab. Ruth clung to Naomi. The words of the young Moabitess poured desperately from her lips like warm honey. "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I'll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us" (Ruth 1:16-17).

And so, it was done. A covenant was made between the two women. And Ruth followed her mother-in-law to Bethlehem. Without reservation. Without fear. Without regret. Ruth denied the gods of Moab, and turned to the God of Israel. Ruth yielded her life to the counsel of the One true God. She committed to Naomi, and Naomi loved Ruth and mentored her. They were kindred spirits, who were both to partake in a greater plan than they ever dreamed possible.

We are all familiar with the wondrous story. Naomi's relative, Boaz, became Ruth's kinsman-redeemer. He purchased her freedom, and they were married. Together, Ruth and Boaz became part of the lineage of Christ. The love Ruth had for Naomi and her God, and the compassion Naomi showed her daughter-in-law, made them part of the greatest historical, Biblical, and spiritual event of the universe. We are all affected today by the kinship and loyalty these women had for their God.

Our loyalties today remain historic. When we are willing to give everything, our total self, in complete relinquishment to the Lord, we not only find our Kinsman-Redeemer, but also we find His perfect plan for our lives. A plan that affects the lives of many others. Could Ruth have known what was ahead for her in Bethlehem? I think not. She only knew that she was compelled to give her life to the God of a woman whose very life and worship was Ruth's peace and comfort. And Ruth knew such dedication meant leaving her old life and gods behind.

In committing ourselves to God so thoroughly, so purely, we may lose what is familiar to us. Some of us may even lose family and close friends. But Jesus said that the person who wants to keep his own life for himself will actually lose it, and that one who gives away his life to Him will find it (Matthew 16:25). He also promised that those who sacrifice houses, people, and lands for Him will receive, in this life, a hundredfold in return (Matthew 19:29). I am so thankful today we have a Kinsman-Redeemer, who paid the ultimate price for us. Christ purchased our salvation. He has made us part of His heritage. He is preparing a place for us in heaven. And He has a plan for our lives while we are here on earth. By serving Him, we have so much to gain, and so much to give, and so many lives to touch.

All quoted text is from The Message.


18 comments:

  1. I have always loved this story! You have painted a beautiful picture of Christ our Redeemer...

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  2. This is beautifully written, Andrea. How I love the story of Ruth and seeing Jesus, Kinsman Redeemer pictured here. Yes, let's keep serving Him passionately especially in this world that is shaking about right now.

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  3. Dear Andrea,

    This is so beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your encouraging words! I love the story of Ruth. I, too, am so very thankful for Christ purchasing our salvation! I have such peace knowing He is with me, and has a plan for my life here on earth, and that He is preparing a place for us in heaven. I pray to serve Him faithfully and lovingly!

    Blessings in Jesus,
    Paula

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  4. Dear Andrea,
    I forgot to say thank you for all of your beautiful posts, your encouraging words, and for sharing your heart. Your love for the Lord, and your faith in Him is such a blessing! I feel so encouraged when I read your posts, and what you write is just what I need to hear! God is so very good! May He richly bless you!
    Love, Paula

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  5. Naomi's story is one of my favorites. Thank you for coloring it with such tender shades.

    Kathleen

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  6. Very beautifully written. That is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. What a blessing you are!

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  7. Ruth 1:16-17 are very special verses of scripture to me and Ruth is one of my very favorite Bible women! ~Blessings~

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  8. This is truly a story of love and devotion that should inspire us all in our walk with Christ. By giving ourselves over to Him completely He will be faithful and will bless us and guide us in all that we do. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  9. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your thoughts about anxiety. LOVE your blog! As soon as the page loaded and "Anne of Green Gables" began to play, I said, "Oh, I'm going to like this lady." :) Anne is my favorite--even named one of my daughters after her. You have so much beauty here, in pictures and word pictures.

    Thanks again for visiting.

    Amy

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  10. A good faith placed in an unseen God. Oh that we all might make such a leap within our own hearts this day!

    peace~elaine

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  11. Hi Andrea,
    This is my first visit to your blog - I'm over from Rachelle's.

    I love this story because my daughter in law and I have a Naomi & Ruth relationship...totally a gift from God for both of us.

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  12. Dear Andrea,
    I've always loved that story! You did a great job writing this. Very descriptive.
    Forgive me for taking so long to get back with you once you came to visit me on my blog.

    Let me tell you that your site is so peaceful.
    I just love that Anne Green Gables music that was playing when I came here. It just changed to something else that is nice.

    Come and visit me some more and I will be back to see you as well......

    Oh.......we also love Tozer in this house.
    I was excited to see that you all do too alot of people aren't aware of who he is.

    We have alot more in common but we will talk about that more later on!
    Be blessed,
    Joyce

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  13. The story of Naomi and Ruth is so beautiful!Thank you for sharing such loveliness.

    Thank you for stopping by for a little chat at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm blog. I am just new to blogging and am finding it one way to find some beauty, inspiration and balance in my life. Please feel free to stop by again--I will have the tea pot on and your china cup is waiting for you in the butler's pantry!

    Blessings,
    Debbykay

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  14. Dear Andrea,

    What a calm and refreshing blog you have. The pictures are lovely. I have always loved cottages and historical homes. And your home is so peaceful and inviting. I'm blessed that you stopped by The Lamp Light for a visit.

    The cottage window dressings remind me of some lace curtains that graced a window when we were first married. Sweet memories. And I saw a lovely lamp with a bird perched on it's base that was lovely in the slideshow.

    I enjoy herbs and flowers as well Andrea. And I'm drawn to the Victorian pictures as well.

    So nice to meet you. May the Lord continue to bless you and your dear Parson.

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  15. Andrea, Your header with the lovely room is absolutely beautiful. Very inviting.
    I like the way your blog is laid out.
    I will enjoy reading your posts.
    So glad we got introduced through the internet.
    Talk to you soon.
    Your Sister In Christ,
    Deanna from the Kansas Flinthills

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  16. Andrea,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. The story of Ruth is another favorite of mine. Come back anytime!
    Mary

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  17. You wrote, "In committing ourselves to God so thoroughly, so purely, we may lose what is familiar to us." I say, 'tis true. The grieving happens and then, the "gifts" (like chronic pain = a path to Christlikeness) He bestows is beyond our imagination that comparison to what was once familiar seems base and irrelevant.

    I love tea, all things Victorian, English Literature....digging deep into Dickens these days with Little Dorrit...love visiting estates with large gardens, and classical music! You and I have much in common and I hope to become better acquainted as well.

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  18. Dear Andrea,

    Thank you so much for stoping by my blog. Your comment was very sweet so I just had to come by and "meet you" at your blog! I love this post. The story of Ruth and Boaz has long been my favoirte love story :O)

    I hope to come by often.

    God bless you!

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea