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We ask for reasons why, only to hear silence.

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Read Ruth 1:1-5

Naomi’s story begins as a tragedy with little hope of recovery. To say the death of all men in her family was unforeseen would be an incredible understatement. Sometimes the events in our lives follow a similar pattern. While they may not be as tragic as Naomi’s, each sharp turn in life has an impact and each loss leaves a hole. Our experience could be the death of family or friend, a close relationship lost, or perhaps financial disaster. In any of these, we find ourselves staring up at God with clenched fists demanding answers. We ask for reasons why, only to hear silence.

In times like these, the decision to remain faithful can be a challenge. Because those who have experienced loss, like Naomi, feel emptied. Yet, toward the end of Naomi’s story, we see that God brought about a wonderful conclusion to redeem Naomi’s great loss. Through the faithfulness of a daughter-in-law, heritage was restored. Through the simple act of gathering seeds from Boaz’s field, the lives of Ruth and Naomi were dramatically affected. While it’s true Naomi lost everything her culture considered important, her waiting wasn’t inactivity nor was it pity. Boaz was able to redeem Ruth and Naomi, and we can read the joyous end of this story in Ruth 4:13-22.

This story provides a bright ray of hope for us during times of waiting in loss. Yet, just as Naomi didn’t have the opportunity to witness the wonderful end to her story, we don’t get to see the result of our own story either. Yet, while waiting, we can still experience the working of the Father in our commitment to ongoing faithfulness. Small activities that don’t appear all that important can bring us healing. Sharing our loss with a friend during a simple visit to the grocery store can provide encouragement. We can continue to walk one step at a time, longing and praying for full and complete healing down the road.

God delights in redeeming our losses. In 2 Corinthians 1, we see God using the comfort we’ve received from him to comfort others. During the holidays, look for an opportunity to share your story with someone who could use comradery and reassurance.

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By Rich Obrecht

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