It almost looks like Carl is praying. I know that dogs can’t pray but if he could, I am sure he would ask God for us to stay home more and not leave him alone. Ever since we picked him up from the doggy resort, Carl has been very clingy. When left for a couple of hours, I have returned to shredded magazines, rearranged furniture, and blankets scattered across the floor.
Carl clearly doesn’t like to be left alone and I can understand these feelings. I do like having some alone time but after a couple of hours of being by myself, I yearn for the companionship of my husband or other close friends or family.
As I have been reading the book of Ruth, I have become more amazed by how God desires to fill our lives with rich relationships, even when we think He isn’t interested in meeting this need. Naomi must have felt angry at God for allowing her husband and two sons to die, leaving her a widow in a strange land. Ten years earlier, the whole family packed up and moved away from Bethlehem and headed to Moab. Elimelek, Naomi’s husband had heard that the famine wasn’t so bad in Moab and believed he was doing what was best for his family. But over time, it became clear that this was a fatal decision.
After Naomi buried her last family member, she knew in her heart that she needed to return to Bethlehem where she could die among her kin. Both of her daughter-in –laws started the journey with her but one turned back. Naomi pleaded with the other, Ruth, to go back to her family. But she didn’t.
Many question why this young widow would leave everyone she knew to follow this old woman to a strange land. What could Ruth gain from this relationship? As we read further, the answer becomes crystal clear. This woman was seeking the God that Naomi worshipped. A God full of mercy and grace that could only be found by going with Naomi to Bethlehem.
Neither Naomi nor Ruth knew the blessings that God would pour out but after returning to Bethlehem, they immediately began to experience them. Ruth just happened to go into the field of Naomi’s close relative Boaz and glean the grain that was left on the ground. He noticed her and she him. And over time, they married and had a son. Ruth lived her life with a loving husband and Naomi had a new family.
But the coolest part of this story has to do with what comes later. You see because Ruth had the faith to go to a strange land with her mother-in-law, God blessed her by allowing her to be a part of the lineage to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1 only two women are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, Rahab, a prostitute who married Boaz’s father and Ruth. Neither women were Jewish but both had incredible faith.
I am so thankful that this short little book is in the Bible. As a woman, it reassures me that God loves me and truly wants me to have great relationships. It also encourages me to develop a deeper faith and place myself in God’s will.
Hopefully, over time, when the house is quiet and we are away, Carl will realize that he is loved and we will never leave him for long. But until then, I will be willing to pick up the shredded magazines and rearrange the furniture.