Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
April 6, 2014
Reading the story of Ruth has touched my heart and so I wanted to share it with you.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers for Gerry and me - we do covet them! Please pray that I may be more like Ruth.
Your sister in Christ,
This remarkable woman who was willing to forsake her familiar surroundings for those foreign has taken her place in history – say hello to Ruth. Her story is not so different than that of Abraham, who also chartered into unknown territory.
Because of Ruth’s love for her mother-in-law, Naomi, she was determined to pursue a new course for her future and to remain with her and become a Jew and follow her God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not even her sister-in-law, Orpah, could persuade her to return to her own people as Ruth was steadfast in her decision.
It is amazing to me how Naomi’s bitterness and pessimism paled in comparison to Ruth’s complete allegiance to her mother-in-law. Ruth was unwavering in her decision to know and follow Naomi’s God. Naomi insisted the women of Bethlehem call her Mara, which means bitter.
Ruth saw the need to support herself and her mother-in-law and so she acted immediately once they arrived in Bethlehem and took the opportunity to work gleaning in the wheat fields, and of course this is where she met Boaz. I am amazed with the quick steps taken of women of the Bible. Ruth’s actions remind me of those of Abigail, when she too acted swiftly in going to David in utter humility to offset what would otherwise have been bloodshed throughout her household. There is so much to learn from these wise and wonderful women, all of whom took their place in history by serving, trusting and loving the Lord.
The Samaritan woman, upon the reality that she stood face to face with Jesus, also acted quickly when she ran into the village to tell the story of Jesus and his glory and her own transformation. I stand astonished at these virtuous women and their readiness and ability to act briskly in the most amazing circumstances!
If Ruth had not acted as she did there would be no such book in the Bible and we would not have her story; this would be a great loss, I believe. In fact, Ruth was my grandmother’s favorite Bible story. I recall going to visit and often would find her sitting and reading Ruth - she just loved the story. And perhaps today in part it is my fascination, because I loved her and what she found captivating was of great interest to me. Ruth left her mark in my grandma’s life, and that mark was left in mine. I always wanted to be a better person to please my grandmother and Ruth’s shining example, led by her actions of bravery and fortitude, leaves me with a daring sense of bravery no matter how difficult I may find my own journey in life to be. And I too will share Ruth’s beautiful story with my own granddaughters.
I find interesting that Naomi even while in despair over the death of her husband and two sons, insisted that Ruth and Orpah return to their mother’s home. And she even asked the Lord to grant them each a new husband. She could have very well insisted they remain with her because after all, she was now alone and in deep grief. But she did not – she was concerned with their well-being and a secure future. This demonstrates to me that Naomi was a caring woman, putting others first. She was all alone without a husband and the loss of two sons and now about to lose her daughters in law. Just imagine awakening in the morning to this reality and finding courage and grace to go onward – I think even though the Bible tells us she was aggrieved and said, “The Almighty has made my life very bitter”, she was still able to put others first.
We know nothing about Orpah except that she did as Naomi insisted; she wept, kissed good-bye and returned to her people and her gods.
Ruth demonstrates great fortitude and determination. This strength of mind enabled her to face danger and unknowns while being separated from her people and her gods. Here we see two women, two completely different patterns of thinking and two different wills – and certainly two different outcomes.
The book of Ruth speaks to me in a profound sense…
It is clear that our Lord in his providential care of two widows in desperate circumstances takes care of and provides for those belonging to him. We are called to be active participants and walk by faith and in spite of fear, which Ruth certainly did, and this is where we meet our Lord in a most intimate way.
Ruth’s determination and courage speaks to my own heart and again, I notice similarities between her, the Samaritan woman, and Abigail as great women to whom we can seek to imitate. These women all walked forward in to unchartered waters with a clear purpose and passion. They sought wisdom and indeed it was granted. They all faced reality and did so at all cost, which I believe is the secret to good intellectual health whereby enabling us to grow spiritually and in a more personal walk with Jesus
In the words of my husband, Gerry, who encouraged me to write about Women of The Bible, “We are different because we are different - we are called to die to self and live for His glory and for Him alone for we have been made by God for God – he made us to love us”.
I see opportunity here to cherish the beautiful stories given to us in women of the Bible and grow in wisdom and grace as we apply the same principals, trusting the One who gave us extraordinary women to pattern, who indeed left their mark in history.
For His glory,