When I’m lost, I look at my survival guide, God’s Word, for encouragement and hope. If anyone knows what to do when they find themselves in a scary situation, it was Naomi. The beautiful friendship between Ruth and her mother-in-law sparkles like a diamond on black velvet. Their relationship captivates me, and I lean closer for a second look.
Naomi travels much lighter on her return home to Judah. She lost her husband and her two sons. Her heart aches with deep grief. While Naomi probably felt all alone, she wasn’t. Her two daughters-in-law had willingly packed their bags to join her on her journey home.
Why would they risk the lengthy journey to a future as a foreigner? They were leaving behind their own mother, families, and friends.
A Hurting Heart Can Instruct about the LORD
I believe that Naomi displayed God’s loving kindness, wise counsel, and instruction in the Lord to her daughters-in-law daily. Her loving gestures included thanking, blessing, and kissing them good-bye as best friends do when parting for the last time.
“But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, ‘Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” (Ruth 1:8 ESV). Naomi counseled them to return home to marry again.
Orpah followed her advice “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you. “(Ruth 1:16-17 ESV).
A Hurting Heart Can Comfort
Ruth’s answer reveals a relationship with her mother-in-law that was centered around the Lord. This glimpse into Naomi’s life, makes me realize my own bitter circumstances can have a surprising influence on those around me. Naomi showed Ruth great love, comfort, and strength is found in the Lord.
The friendship between these two women reminds me of the Lord’s will for women to care for each other’s hearts. Stepping out in obedience results in comforting another. It also navigates another safely around life’s potholes.
Will I be a Naomi and step out in obedience to comfort another? Will I stretch out my hand in friendship to another heart in need?
God restores battered and bruised hearts. If Naomi drew strength from the Spirit to reach out to another hurting heart, then so can I.
Once the Lord showed me this beautiful description of a friendship between an older woman and a younger woman, my heart craved this for my very own.
I prayed for the Lord to bring an older woman to be a mentor. A godly woman who would hold me accountable to following the Lord’s ways. Proverbs 27:9 ESV describes how oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. My soul needed another to speak God’s truth into the intimate threads of my life. I needed a woman who would pray with me. To join my heart in praise.
While I recognized my need, my life was overflowing with responsibilities. Caring for my husband and parenting my two sons didn’t leave any spare moments.
But the Lord pressed this desire unto my heart to dedicate one night each week to meet with women from church. This group of women represented different ages and vastly different life choices. But we all desired to study God’s word and pray. A close bond formed as we held each other tightly through joyful praise, brokenness, and unexpected tragedy.
Hearing how the Lord worked in each lady’s life showed me many different methods the Lord taught his children the same lesson. We laughed together about our common desire to help the Lord fix situations the way we desired. A common lesson we all shared was to patiently wait upon the Lord. His ways were never what we expected!
A Hurting Heart Can Pray
At the beginning of this mentoring relationship, I was not comfortable praying in front of others. But I began to write my prayers down and read them out loud to another friend. Not only did this practice transform my own prayer life, but blessed others as well.
Each lady’s story showed how the Lord fills us with joy in the most terrible circumstances. They brushed off the dust of this evil world. They breathed God’s truth back into my soul. When my world fell apart, their beautiful faces gathered around me. Their prayers lifted me up into the Heavenly realm where the Lord revived my strength to continue the daily battle.
A Hurting Heart Can Encourage
We all need encouragement, prayer, and instruction. With the Lord’s help we can encourage each other to love our husbands and children. The Lord kindly teaches us through each other’s testimonies. If we don’t take time to hear each other’s lessons learned, then the Lord is forced to teach us by experiencing it in our own lives.
Even Jesus surrounded himself with disciples. He taught them, prayed for them, and rebuked them. And there was one disciple who stuck closer than a brother when he was crucified. On the same day Jesus experienced the wrath of God, he chose his disciple, John, to care for his mother. His disciple loved Jesus and took her into his home.
Taking care of another’s loved one usually falls to a family member and not to a friend. But Discipleship creates a close bond like family. It also gives us opportunities to be kind and tenderhearted with one another. To forgive just like Christ Jesus forgave us all.
Mentoring allows us to join our sisters in their own spiritual battles. Like Roman soldiers, we stand side by side with our shields held high. When we grow weary, our sisters wrap the belt of truth firmly around our waist. When we lose our voice, they whisper God’s Word in our ears. When we are afraid, they remind us; the Lord will never leave us. Christ gives us strength and courage. Our sisters merely point the way to Him.
Be courageous dear sister to allow others beyond the bright blue skies. When a woman from church extends the invitation of friendship, nod your head yes. Even if your terrified heart thumps wildly in your chest, allow another to peer into your life. It is worth the risk. She may see a dusty road of a soul filled with potholes. But what if she clasps your hand tightly and walks along with you. Together trust God to navigate around life’s potholes.
If you have been blessed by a sister in Christ, feel free to share below.
8 thoughts on “What Can I do with a Hurting Heart?”
I love reading/hearing the story of Naomi & Ruth. I once heard the entire book read at a wedding
It is one of my favorites too. That’s a great idea to read it at a wedding too!
So well written!! Thank you for sharing this April!!
Thankful, it blessed you. 😊
One of my favorite Bible stories. Good post, thanks.
Not matter how many times I read this chapter I always find another nugget to treasure. Thanks for stopping by!
What a wonderful reminder that God uses everything in our lives for our good, even a hurting heart. Thank you.
So thankful that the Healer always restores our hurting hearts. Thanks for stopping by!