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Devotions

Presence

Read Ruth 1:1-18.

The book of Ruth is a story about God working in and through people who are grieving, bitter, or without hope for a better future. It shows how God can take two outcasts – an elderly widow and her foreign daughter-in-law – and create an important link in the family line leading to the birth of Jesus.

There is something to learn in Ruth’s pledge to Naomi in verses 16 and 17. Notice that she doesn’t try to downplay Naomi’s pain. She doesn’t advise Naomi to pick herself up by her bootstraps. She doesn’t tell Naomi it’s time to move on. Instead, she offers her presence. She promises to accompany Naomi without expressing any expectations. What a gift it is to have people like that in our own lives – people who are willing to sit with us in our pain and celebrate with us in our joy.

Who have been your dearest and most faithful family members or friends? Who are the ones you can depend on? How has God worked through these people to bring about healing or to spark hope? In prayer, thank God for placing these people in your life and commit yourself to being that same presence in someone else’s life.