Updated: Jun 28
Guest Post written by Gladys Childs, Ph.D.
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel! (Ruth 4:14, ESV)
I could see my breath as I put on a second layer of socks. Two layers of pants were already on. Pulling on my gloves, I spotted the black beanie and put it on my head making sure my ears were covered. Grabbing my long winter robe, I left my closet. I went back into the living room and layered myself under blankets, making sure our dog was nestled under but could breathe. The third morning of snowmageddon in Texas, still no electricity. I stared into the fire for a while and I looked at my husband and said, "I am done, and we are leaving." We packed our bags and drove to our friend’s house across the frozen iced bound city. Entering our friend’s home, the warmth and light were a welcome relief.
Have you ever been a sojourner?
I have when the entire state of Texas froze for a week in February of 2021. A sojourner is a person who either temporarily or permanently resides in a place which is not their own and relies on the good will of others. And rely on I did.
Story of Ruth and Naomi: Restored to Life and Fullness
When the book of Ruth begins, there was famine in the land and Naomi, her husband, and two sons leave for Moab in hopes of food and stability. While there, her husband died, her sons married, and then the sons passed away. Naomi was in a strange land with her daughters-in-law during a time when not having a man to provide or protect you left women with very few options for survival. Naomi assessed her situation and then told her daughters to go back to their families and Naomi would go back to Bethlehem and hope for care from her male relatives, a sojourner still.
Ultimately, Naomi didn’t travel alone as Ruth came with her to Bethlehem. Ruth and Boaz marry and in chapter four we learn they have a son. Naomi is now a grandmother. Then the mid-wives said to Naomi,
“Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” (Ruth 4:14-15, ESV)
Naomi’s future was secure, and she had a grandson who would be the heir of her late husband, Elimelech. God restored her hope, her family, and a future through her grandson Obed. Naomi is a sojourner no more. Or was she?
While Naomi was secure from a worldly perspective, she was still a sojourner, as she continued to need God. Just like Naomi, no matter what we possess in this world, we will always need the grace, mercy, and care of God. The awesome thing is, God provides abundantly for His children as seen in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
Prayer: Lord, help us to rely upon you and trust for your provision.
What area of your life do you need God’s help with? Bring it to Him in prayer this week.
Helping people deeply connect with God through speaking, leading retreats, and writing, Gladys Childs is a straight-talking Religion professor, pastor’s wife, and mom. She currently serves as Chaplain at Texas Wesleyan University. Connect with her at gladyschilds.com, Instagram @gladyschildsauthor, or Facebook GladysAnnChilds.