Hi, and thanks for joining us for today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading was written by Ann Cetus, and she titled it Love and Lean on God. Zach was funny, smart, and well-liked, but he secretly struggled with depression. After he committed suicide at age 15, his mom Lori said of him, It's just hard to comprehend how someone that had so much going for him would come to that point.
Zach was not exempt from suicide. There are moments in the quiet when Lori pours out her sorrow to God. She says that the deep sadness after suicide is a whole different level of grief. Yet she and her family have learned to lean on God and others for strength, and now they're using their time to love others who are grappling with depression.
Lori's motto has become Love and Lean. This idea is also seen in the Old Testament story of Ruth. Naomi lost her husband and two sons, one who was married to Ruth. Naomi, bitter and depressed, urged Ruth to return to her mother's family, where she could be cared for. Ruth, though also grieving, clung to her mother-in-law and committed to staying with her and caring for her.
They returned to Bethlehem, Naomi's homeland, where Ruth would be a foreigner. But they had each other to love and lean on, and God provided for them. During our times of grief, God's love remains steady. We always have Him to lean on, as we also lean on and love others in His strength.
Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Ruth chapter 1, verses 11 through 19. But Naomi said, Return home, my daughters, why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters, I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me, even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons, would you wait until they grew up?
Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters, it is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has turned against me. At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. Look, said Naomi, your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods.
Go back with her. But Ruth replied, Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, Can this be Naomi? Let's pray. Father, we're grateful for your faithful love and care. Use us to encourage others to trust you, and may our lives give them reason to believe they can. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 00:50:59 / 2023-03-05 00:52:43 / 2