Last Monday and Wednesday we saw the first two reasons--
1. It’s all about widows! When we look at Ruth through the eyes of a widow we can learn all about grief, and God, and the journey.
2. It shows the 3 paths a widow could choose from after the funeral.
Today we'll see a third reason-- It tells the 2 essential needs of widows.
Every widow has a unique set of needs, but when I was widowed and found two particular needs mentioned in Ruth I was amazed at how Naomi brilliantly tagged the essential needs of all widows. Take a look at Ruth 1:8,9a (NIV)
Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.Fill in these blanks with the needs that Naomi prayed God would fulfill for her daughters-in-law.
May the Lord show you _______________Naomi prayed first for Kindness and then for Rest for both Ruth and Orpah. Can I get a show of hand for how many widows would like some kindness and rest in their own lives?
May the Lord grant that each of you will find _____________
Whatever her circumstance---whether she's left well off, or bereft, each widow needs the kindness of her friends, family, clergy and strangers. And she needs to find the rest that the companionship and security of knowing the Lord as her husband/protector/redeemer will provide.
I'm not sure I would have embraced or even accepted that I personally had these needs in the early shock of widowhood. Do you? But as I've matured through the experience, trusted God and his Word more, and have seen and heard the situations and cries of the hundreds of widows I've come in contact with, I hold true to kindness and rest as essential helps along the widows' path.
May the Lord grant YOU kindness and rest even today!