Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I started to read Ruth this morning. There was a quote in an Amy Carmichael book I came across, and it reminded me of the story of Ruth. My focus, however, has been on Naomi. Ms. Carmichael was focusing on Naomi's lament when she enters Bethlehem after her loss, where she announces to her friends that she has returned empty, to call her Mara "bitter" instead of Naomi "pleasant".

I began in Ruth chapter one, where Naomi and her husband are pushed out of Bethlehem because of a famine in the land. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem after ten years, and three deaths, because she heard "The Lord had visited his people with bread".

A woman broken in spirit, in hope, and without provision, goes on a journey to follow the movement of God. Jehovah was providing for His people in Bethlehem, and so she follows the shadow of His provision. I wonder how Naomi heard about it, or how she decided she'd go. I imagine out of that place of desperation, Naomi packed up her belongings, however meager, and set out to seek the providing hand of God.

With the Lord I so often play games. Lord, I won't stalk you. I won't even seek you. You have to pull me out, pick me out, and summon me before You. I am not bold enough to "come before the throne of grace with confidence".

I want to be like Naomi. To follow the one whose invitation is clear. Onward toward Jesus. Whereever there is rumor that He has presented Himself, I ought to seek that place.

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