Ruth clung to her. Ruth 1:14
Zach was funny, smart, and well-liked. But he secretly struggled with depression. After he committed suicide at age fifteen, 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 (Ruth 1:3–5). 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 (vv. 14–17). 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 (2:11–12).
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.
What does it mean for you to lean on God during your times of grief? Who may need your support right now?
Father, I’m grateful for Your faithful love and care for me. Use me to encourage others to trust You.
Moab, to which Naomi and her family fled to escape the famine in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1), was perpetually seen as Israel’s enemy. Yet, Moab was also a nation of distant relatives to the people of Israel. Whereas Israel traced their lineage to Abraham, the patriarch of Moab was Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Lot had taken up residence, Moab and Ben-Ammi (Ammon) were born to Lot following his sinful relations with his daughters (see Genesis 19:37–38). Both Moab and Ammon would become enemies of Israel and a source of no small struggle for God’s chosen people.