Naomi and her daughters-in-law had set out on the journey to Bethlehem-Judah.
With the little belongings left with them, all packed into bags strapped across their shoulders or on their heads, they walked on. Probably in silence. Different thoughts running through each person’s mind.
The young women, likely thinking about the journey ahead. “When will we get there? How will these strangers receive us? What will become of our future over there?”
And for Naomi, thoughts of how she walked into the land of Moab with three men… and now, she journeyed back home with two young women instead.
“Oh, how I love these women! Saying goodbye to them will be hard, but I’ll be selfish to allow them to travel to Bethlehem with me. I’d better ask them to return home and start to build a future for themselves.”
And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. (Ruth 1: 8-9)
She broke the news to them.
And went further to make a special prayer for them:
The Lord grant that you find REST (security) each in the house of her husband.
My thoughts: What a prayer! And… Why this prayer?
If you’ve noticed, it’s not just Naomi that makes this kind of prayer for young women.
I can’t count how many times and how many people say, “God will give you a good husband.”
I know many people say such prayers for you too.
And I say a big “AMEN!”
But at times I just wonder, “Is it just a good husband I need? Say other prayers for me too abeg…” (Of course, I may not say it to their hearing.)
But, I really wonder why older people say that prayer above other prayers.
And I also stopped and pondered… “Why did Naomi make this one prayer for her beloved daughters-in-law?”
That You May Find Rest
Rest. In the world filled with turmoil and unrest, everyone seeks a place of Rest. Peace. Quietness. For your spirit, soul and body.
Where do you find that rest?
In the arms of sleep? Hanging out with your friends and talking it out? In money and other material things? In a relationship? In your job?
Have you found true rest in those places?
For these young women, Naomi prayed they would find rest in the house of their husbands.
Does a husband’s house provide rest? And what kind of rest can they find there?
I just remembered…
…While talking with one woman not so long ago, she narrated her marriage ordeal saying, “When it’s about time for him (her husband) to come home, my heart beats. What will be the next problem today…?” She became skinny, gradually dying inside, till they parted ways. According to her, she feels at rest now.
An irony, right?
Some people rush in to find rest, while others are looking for a way out to find rest.
She needs emotional rest.
And how about another young new mum who told me she always feels tired? Nursing her first baby. Taking care of the home. Although she even has two girls to help her… But it seems there’s no rest for her.
She needs physical rest.
So was Naomi making castle-in-the-air wishes for her young women?
Ok. Let’s go back to “the beginning”
In Genesis chapter 2, we see a lonely, searching man – the Bible said “but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.” (Genesis 2: 20)
Till God formed the woman and brought her unto Adam. What joy and relief Adam had when he saw her.
Likewise Isaac. “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Genesis 24: 67)
Isaac was comforted.
Truly, marriage brings some rest.
And for the young women of Moab in Ruth’s day, getting married seemed to be the peak of achievement. They’ll have a man to protect and provide for them.
Marriage provides rest as:
You’ll have someone to dream with, plan with, work with, achieve those feats with, celebrate successes with, pray with, and impact your generation with.
What a rest in knowing you’re sailing through the hurdles of life with someone close and so dear, running in the same direction with you.
But some people don’t have such rest in their marriages. No peace. No unity. No love.
A lot of young girls who rush into a man’s house with hopes of security in his arms get their wild dreams dashed as they meet with the other side of the man… that gives a hard blow on their faces. Not necessarily a physical bow (some even get lots of physical ones). Emotional, social, career, spiritual blows.
No rest for them.
Like – Hannah Whitall Smith said,
No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment awaits us.
Pathway To True Rest
You desire true all-round REST, right?
Here’s how to guarantee that:
Find and embrace the source of true rest.
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28)
And here is what comes with His rest:
- He’ll make your heart at rest, no matter how turbulous life may be.
- He’ll give you His son for a husband, who together with you, will make your home a haven of rest
- He’ll give you the grace to bear the responsibilities on your shoulder so that your body doesn’t break down in the quest for rest.
Run to Jesus now, surrender your life to Him, and experience a rest like no other.