Devotional: Renewed Strength

eagle- Isaiah 40 31.jpgIt’s the month of May. For many people, it is the start of something new. Many are graduating from kindergarten, eighth grade, high school, and college. These events mark the end of one phase of our lives and the beginning of the next. It’s normal to feel excitement and trepidation at the same time.

It’s also a good time to renew our faith and to strength it. With God, we can do anything. He has this. We can go through the next phase of our lives with him by our side. That doesn’t mean life is easy, but it will give us peace and comfort.

There are many great stories of the Bible that illustrate this. One of them is in the book of Ruth. I’ve talked about Ruth and Naomi before but that’s because we can learn a lot from their story.

Naomi’s family left Israel and moved to Moab. While there her husband and son’s died leaving her with only two daughters-in-law. Naomi decided to move back home and sent her daughters-in-law back to their families so they could remarry. One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, refused to leave her side. Instead, she traveled with Naomi back to Israel.

Take note that Naomi had no immediate family, no means to bring in an income, and no place to live upon her return. When she arrived in Bethlehem, the women called to each other, “Can this be Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19 HCSB) But Naomi didn’t want to be called that anymore. She wanted to be called “Mara” because God had made her bitter.

When Naomi discovered that Ruth had been gathering grain from a field owned by a man named Boaz, she realized they had a family redeemer. I’m not completely sure what a family redeemer means. It seems to be a way to keep property within a family. Whatever the meaning, Naomi realized she had a way to provide for Ruth.

Boaz married Ruth and they had a son named Obed. Then the women said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Indeed, your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” (Ruth 4:14-16 HCSB)

Life is hard. But to me, it would be harder without God’s help and renewal. He provided the ultimate Redeemer; Jesus. Obed had a son named Jesse, who had a son named David. From David, we eventually have Joseph who God chose to be Jesus’ Earthly father.

Thank you, Lord, for the many opportunities to start something new. To embark on a new phase in life. Give me strength and help. Guide me in your will.

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