Life Can be hard, but Love Reigns!

Life Can be hard, but Love Reigns! Hope in the Distance, Part 15

My mom and I


Life can be hard at times. Look at Naomi. While living in a foreign country, her husband died. Her sons both took Moabite wives, and all was well for Naomi for the next 10 years. Then her sons both died as well.


Even in our day it is hard for a lonely woman to survive without her husband; but in that day, it was nearly impossible to survive. With Naomi and both of her daughters-in-law all in the same predicament, Naomi decided it would be best to leave Moab and return to Israel. She invited her daughters-in-law to accompany her. After all, three women traveling together would be better and safer than one woman traveling alone!


While they were on their way, however, Naomi had a change of heart. She realized she was asking these girls to leave their country, their families and their friends. She suggested to the two girls that they return to Moab.


Initially, both girls wanted to stay with Naomi and they refused to return. They loved Naomi, and they cried at the idea of having to leave her. When Naomi insisted, however, Orpah turned back. Ruth did not. She decided to follow her mother-in-law no matter where she went: 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." (Ruth 1: 16-17, NIV)


The two traveling women made it back to Israel safely. Once back in her home town, everyone was astounded that Naomi was back, and with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, as well! Life wasnít much easier, however, for the widows, even back in Naomiís home town. They only survived by trusting our Heavenly Father.


Naomi was a real example of love. She always helped people. Love was in her heart and she could not help but love others. "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (Eph 4:2) One of the ways she showed love was to Ruth. She wanted Ruth to be happy.


My mother was like this as well. She always put others first and she spent time helping the elderly. She visited those who no one visited, and when the wife of a pastor passed away, she called him every week to encourage him. My mother genuinely loved people, and everyone loved her.


My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimerís in her late sixties. As the condition progressed, she got to the point where she couldnít talk well. She communicated then with her eyes, and there was no doubt in the minds of the people around her that she loved them. Thanks to my mom, we now have several friends from the nursing home where she lived. My mother knew what life looked like, and she showed it. That is my mom!


Naomi survived through love. So did my mom. Thanks to their love, they had hope. They had no reason to be afraid. Love is contagion. Letís resolve to show unselfish love to one another as well!


In His love,

Rob Chaffart

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