Today's Devotional Thought
May 19, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
A Friend to Last a Lifetime
Yesterday was a precious day. You know, one of those days where you feel like God spoke so clearly to you. It started with time spent shopping and talking over lunch with Wendy and ended with a great revival service at a local church. And as I went to bed last evening, I felt so blessed with how God spoke that day.
One thing that Wendy and I talked about was friendship and how successful friendships are made and maintained. One of the key ingredients that we talked about is love and how love for another so often means putting ourselves aside. It means loving someone so much that we are willing to forgo our own needs at times in support of the other. In fact, the most successful friendships are those in which we think of the other’s needs first and simply love them selflessly.
As I thought of our conversation throughout the day, I kept thinking of the one woman in the Bible who I really think demonstrated this concept of selfless love and genuine concern and devotion to another woman over herself. And that woman is Ruth.
The book of Ruth begins with deep sorrow. Ruth has lost her husband, her father-in-law and her brother-in-law. And what we see as we read on in the book of Ruth, is love, commitment, faithfulness and compassion. It is a beautiful story of friendship, loyalty, and selfless love.
Ruth is a woman who is loyal and has a deep sense of commitment to those in her life. The verse we are learning today is Ruth’s response to her mother-in-law when their husbands have passed. Her mother-in-law, Naomi is telling her to go back to her homeland and find another husband who can take care of her. But Ruth desires to stay with her mother-in-law. We see a deep bond between Ruth and Naomi: a relationship that is grounded in the Lord and one that displays a genuine concern for one another.
Ladies, this is truly a friendship from the Lord.
Genuine concern for one another is what we see between Ruth and Naomi. Ruth is a young woman who according to custom, should go back to her homeland and find a nice young man to marry and be taken care of. What we see instead is a young woman who is willing to give and give to Naomi instead of pursuing her own interests. Ruth loved Naomi and desired to be with her wherever she went, to support her and love her as she grieved. As they lived on together, Ruth listened and obeyed what Naomi told her and because of her obedience, she becomes the wife of Boaz and the great grandmother of King David. And then we find her in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Ladies, what I want to emphasize today is the beauty and gift of friendship and the sacrifice that friendship sometimes requires. No, not all of us will face the tragedy that Ruth and Naomi faced. And, it is that tragedy that bonded them together. We do, however, all face trials and times in our lives where God recognizes that we need someone to help us and encourage us through. And in those times, we may be required to forgo our own needs to really support, encourage, and love another. It is those friendships where love is really revealed. A selfless, committed love that comes from God. Those friendships that are full of selfless love are the ones that last a lifetime.
We should all strive to love like Ruth. When you have someone in your life that you love enough to sacrifice your own needs and desires, then it is truly special. And, if you have been blessed with a friend like that, then let them know today how much you appreciate them. They are truly a gift from God above.