“For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God…” – Ruth 1:16
It didn’t make sense. She knew there was no logical way a Jewish man back in Bethlehem would want a “used” Moabite woman for a wife! And no husband meant no future – there would be no children to care for her someday.
How did Ruth, a non-Jewish girl who grew up worshipping idols, turn into a young woman who would choose to face certain life-long poverty and widowhood with an aging mother-in-law, worshiping the Jewish God in a foreign land?
Where did that passion for the God of Israel come from? How did she ever get the courage to take that step of… yes…faith? Ruth staked her life on the God of Israel, and walked away from the idols she had grown up with. Why? What made her choose to believe in the One, True God?
Could we actually come to the conclusion that becoming a part of a Jewish family who had left their home because they had no food to eat, and then lived through the agony of the father of the family dying, but somehow making it through that, and then lived through the added pain and anguish of both grown sons dying also, and ending up staring across the kitchen table at a grief-stricken mother-in-law, and a grief-stricken sister-in-law, and feeling like your own insides had just been ripped out by the death of your own husband….are we concluding that going through all of that actually prompted Ruth to trust in the God of Israel…who, if He was as powerful as this family said He was, could have protected this sweet family from all this grief…do we actually think Ruth put her trust in this God after that?
Yes. We can. That was Ruth’s story.
Ruth didn’t see wonderful, sweet and problem-free living. No, she didn’t see that at all. She saw a small Jewish family trusting in their God no matter what happened; Jewish people serving their God no matter how horrible their life looked compared to the idol-worshiping lives around them; Jewish people knowing that their God had a plan for the salvation of not just the Jews, but of the whole world, and being willing to trust Him forever.
She lived life with plain and simple people of faith; she saw and heard their stories; and that convinced her of the reality of the One, True, God. She believed in Him – not to keep her life from trouble – but to bow before Him, thanking Him for loving her. She realized He was the only God and she put the rest of her life in His hands.
When I read Ruth’s story my faith is strengthened. When I get a chance to tell my own story, I hope someone else’s faith is strengthened, too. Ruth had a story, I have a story, you have a story.
When we tell our stories we touch lives. Because they are not primarily our stories, they are Jesus’ stories. They are stories of what brought us to faith in Jesus – the One, True God.
So, let’s tell our stories! Let’s look for opportunities to tell them. Plan to tell them. Ask to tell them. Irritate people by telling them over and over and over. Speak of our love for Jesus, and how we came to believe in Him. Sing it. Write it. Post it. Wear ourselves out telling our stories.
Want to get started? Do this:
- Write out your story.
- The next time you are talking with someone…anyone…just take a deep breath and say: “Have I ever told you my story? Can I tell you?” And then jump in.
Let’s give someone a chance to hear about Jesus by telling them our stories. Then, when they believe in Jesus, let’s take them to church, where they can grow in their faith, learn to write out their story, and the next time they are talking with someone…anyone…they can just take a deep breath and say: “Have I ever told you my story? Can I tell you?”