Lesson Six |• Devotion #3: Naomi
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director
When my son was younger, I spent the majority of my days going to therapy appointments with him: physical, occupational, and speech therapy. It was the same routine day after day. Every week I would check him in at the front desk and then go back to the “observation room,” a tiny little room where I could watch while they worked with my son. When his session was over, I would exit the room into a hallway and go pick him up. I had very little conversation with anyone and a lot of quiet time in that tiny little room while I waited. One day as I was making my way down the hallway, one of the therapists stopped me and asked if she could talk with me. This was someone who had not worked with my son, so I was curious what she wanted to say. As I listened, she began sharing the difficult things that she and her family were experiencing. She ended the conversation by asking if I would pray for them and said, “I knew you were a person of faith and that I could count on you.” I have never forgotten that moment when I realized how my life and my walk, even during a trying time, could be an example to others.
In the book of Ruth, we read the story of Naomi, a woman who experienced tragedy and loss and were in the midst of her grief and hardship, she finds that her daughter-in-law, Ruth, is drawn to her. It is that part of Naomi’s character that stands out to me. Naomi, whose name meant “pleasant or sweet,” had traveled to Moab from Bethlehem with her husband and two sons to escape the famine. While in Moab, Naomi’s husband died, her sons married Moabite women, and they later died leaving the three women to survive as widows. Naomi chose to return to Judah, blessed her daughters, and entreated them to return to their own families. However, Ruth declared her commitment to Naomi:
Ruth 1:16 says, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
Ruth obviously cared very deeply for Naomi, and her loyalty was such that she gave up her pagan god to follow Naomi’s God. Despite Ruth’s status as a non-Israelite woman, it was through her faithfulness to Naomi and God that she remarried and gave birth to a son, thus giving Naomi a grandson and ultimately a child was born into the lineage of Jesus Christ. God worked through her life to change many and Ruth is a perfect example that God desires those from all backgrounds to follow Him. God proves He can work in our lives in incredible ways to reach the lost when our lives are yielded to Him.
We never know what influence our words and actions might have on the lives of others. When we experience heartache and pain, our response to our circumstances is an example to others of what it looks like to be a Christian. It is Christianity in its purest form. To this day, I have no idea why the woman approached me or what it was that she observed in my actions or words that led her to me. That encounter made me aware that even in my most routine of days, I can be a light to others who might be taking notice of my walk.
Lord, my hope is that others see You through my actions in every situation and want more of You. There is nothing I desire more than to have someone say “I want your God to be my God,” or “your Jesus to be my Jesus.”