by DanWolgemuth on September 4, 2009

Light, not varnish. That’s what God’s Word provides.

An illuminated path, not an artificial landscape.

Solid, not veneer.

Pain, disappointment, rejection, and difficult real life decisions mark that journey through the Bible.

No façade. No spin. No punches pulled.

As a milestone along the way, I’ve come to the book of Ruth. It’s inconspicuously tucked between Judges and 1 Samuel. Hardly dog-eared in my Bible, I’m afraid I haven’t spent enough time exploring the richness of this story.

Suffice it to say, the first chapter is full of authentic trouble.

  • “…a famine was in the land.” ~Ruth 1:1
  • “But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.” ~Ruth 1:3
  • “…and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.” ~Ruth 1:5
  • “So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law.” ~Ruth 1:7
  • “She said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi (which means pleasant); call me Mara (which means bitter), for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.'" ~Ruth 1:20

The seed, from which hope is germinated, is honesty. A deceitful heart disguises reality and makes transformation impossible. But transparency, with our Father, produces the fertile soil in which life change and growth can take place.

Yes, light and not varnish is what God’s Word produces.

From obscurity to openness.

From the experience of an Old Testament widow, to the challenges, disappointments and pain that we encounter; bring it… the deepest, the hardest, the most frustrating, the most hidden…

To the Redeemer.

Yes, a guide book, not a marketing brochure.

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