I seem to start a lot of my conversations with, “I’m sorry, God.” Lord, I know full well that repentance is a fine and necessary thing. But Lord, I’ve neglected to accept Your punishment for my crimes against You as already PAID IN FULL. I’ve walked around, suffering and moaning with the failures that surround my day. I am sad and I hear myself say, “I know I’m just suffering the consequences of my own actions.” So sad. And I know that I often do have to suffer the consequences on occasion. But I have neglected to fully receive from You that the consequences for my sin were paid on the cross of Christ.
I have victory. I am forgiven. I have let the enemy convince me that I have neither! I have walked in grieving and loss. I have walked in guilt and shame. I have walked in all the things You conquered for me in Your payment for my sins on the cross. You rose from the dead! You PROVED your victory. You proved it and proclaimed it and then sealed it as a promise in our hearts by giving us–giving me–Your Holy Spirit.
But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”
Why do I ever think You’ve left me to my fate? Why do I act the way Naomi did when everything she depended on in the physical world had been taken from her. Distraught, she cried out in her misery, but not to You, God. She cried out in shame and worry and hopelessness. How many times have I felt that same way? I’ve walked in the sorrow of my circumstances instead of the peace of Your Gospel.
But Ruth said, “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. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Ruth, on the other hand, who had nothing, and by worldly standards was fated to a worse fate than Naomi, chose to trust in You. As a foreigner she had no hope without You, and so she chose by faith to walk to the very end trusting You regardless of how things looked.
I’ve always thought I knew the story of Ruth and Naomi. I’ve always thought of Naomi as so faithless. And today I saw that I have been walking like Naomi, in faithlessness. But You are faithful even when we are faithless. Thanks for that, God. Please give me more faith. Teach me to trust You more and hope in Your salvation.
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13