Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Widows Stories: We Each Have 3 Choices

Whether it happens in an instant, or is a long-expected end to a husband's suffering, 3 out of 4 women in the US will become widows--some 1600 women per day.

Why, God, why? I've cried out many times at this number.

But instead of replying with a finger-wagging three point sermon, God gently reminded me He wrote an entire book in the Bible about widows. Have you read the book of Ruth from a widows viewpoint?

I discovered God shows widows the way with a story! Stories imprint our minds and hearts in ways we'll never forget. In Ruth there are three widows, and each of them serves a purpose and spotlights areas of life for widows today.

For example--- Naomi, Ruth and Orpah, the three widows in the book of Ruth, illustrate three choices a widow has about where to live.

When Naomi, Ruth and Orpah talked about returning to Bethlehem, they must have asked themselves about the following questions-- questions that I found myself asking, too. Have you asked them yet?

Naomi--Do I return to my roots?
Ruth--Do I risk an entirely new life?
Orpah--Do I remain where I am?

If you don't ask yourself these questions, others will. They'll want to decide for you; in my case, my parents thought I should--- return to my roots---As any parent would, they wanted me to move 'back home.' I considered that for about 10 seconds-- it wasn't right. I hadn't lived 'back home' for over 20 years and I didn't think it'd be good for me and my kids to move 400 miles 'back home' and add to the shock of our loss.

I secretly wondered about moving out of the Midwest to beautiful ocean or mountain views, to risk an entirely new life--and while that worked out fine for Ruth, it wasn't the right time for me.

And although Orpah is often maligned by Bible teachers as making the wrong choice ---remaining in Moab---(and certainly going back to idol worship would be a wrong choice), remaining where I was seemed the wisest for me and the kids at the time.

Seeing how the three widows' choices paralled my own helped clarify what I needed to do. Have you had to make those decisions, too? God's Word provides clear direction!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV)

I'm praying this truth for your heart today,

P.S. The 3 choices for widows was the first principle God opened my eyes to in the book of Ruth. After that, I dived in and studied it for almost two years. I discovered so many other fascinating and wonderful helps for widows that I had to write them all down! At first it was a Bible study for my church, and then it turned into a book that hundreds and hundreds of widows love! -- Postcards From The Widows' Path. God's Word was the best help for my grief!

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