When I first heard this song, it brought me to tears. I was sitting in the common room in my dorm, just like I am now, and Kirsten (the performer in the video above, and the woman who has mentored me this past year) was giving us a mini-concert upon our request. And this song has been echoing inside me ever since…. Just like Kirsten explained in the video, the book of Ruth is really more about Naomi than Ruth. It’s a book about despair, pain, loss, bitterness and anger towards God. But above all, it’s a book about redemption; how God can redeem those “too-far-gone, call-me-Mara-because-my-life-is-a-bitter-blow-from-God” seasons of our lives and turn them into something beautiful. How God carefully crafts those moments on purpose, so we can see how far we have turned away from Him, with the desire that we will return to Him, completely broken and surrendered, open and trusting in His character to guide you.
This idea of redemption has been one of the key themes God has impressed upon me this year. Passages like Gen 29-30 and Hosea 2 have brought me to tears, dreaming of the day when God brings redemption into the most tender parts of my life. And today I’m back in this place again, asking that God would put transform this area of my life just like He did with Naomi; God brought her through the loss of her home, her husband, her sons, her “normal”… Everything she knew and loved, everything that gave her security and identity, everything she thought she couldn’t live without was stripped from her. God put her in the place to get her to surrender her life to Him, trusting that He is good and He does love her. When Naomi finally realized this, every relationship in her life was changed. So much so, that her family named their son “Obed… worshipper”. This young boy was a living, breathing testimony to God’s redeeming work; out of pain, confusion and bitterness, a heart surrendered to the Lord is one of worship. This worshipper is the grandfather of the “man after God’s own heart”, King David, who in turn is one of the forefathers of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
Jesus, Redeemer. Take this part of my life, with all of its confusion and pain, and do with it what You will. So many times I have thought it beyond change, but I trust that nothing is impossible for You. I know that You are the same God you were to Naomi, and I’m trusting, I’m clinging to Your promise to redeem the brokeness in my life, bring it to the place of surrender and transform it into something for Your glory. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Redemption is big enough. I pray that my children, and their children, and their children would be able to have a more solid, Biblical foundation to build upon through Your work in my life and my simple obedience. My biggest dream is that my lineage would reflect Ruth’s, redemption etched into every child’s face. For Your Glory, precious Redeemer….
“You took my hands, and You emptied them, so You could fill them up with Your presence, God. You took my heart and broke it in Your hands, so You could sew it up with Your cords of love… And there’s a song in my heart now that You are good…”