Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Naomi's Hunger

By Mary Vee
Ruth 1

Naomi's Thoughts

I had watched the crops wilt from lack of rain. sigh

We would soon run out of food.

Elimelech, my husband and our two sons rose early and worked until the sun went down each day. They tried their hardest to save the crops, but the wells dried up.

I had learned shortcuts to make what little food we had last longer hoping--praying the rains would come. But they didn't. 
My husband and sons grew hungry--so had I. 

Elimelech's stomach growled after dinner one evening. "Naomi, we need food. I don't see any other way. We'll have to go to Moab to grow crops." He shook his head and sighed deeply. "I don't want to leave our home, I really don't--"

I placed my hand on his shoulder. "I know--I know. I'll pack first thing in the morning. Moab is not so far away."

He smile despite his sad eyes. "We'll come back after the rains return--I promise."

I rose early the next morning to pack the pots, dishes, and clothing. Elimelech didn't have his usual smile. His eyes drooped and he dragged his legs as he walked to the barn. "Are you well, husband?"

He shrugged. "I'm fine."

By noon we had packed everything we could. Elimilech had to tie down the chairs to keep them from falling off the cart. He pulled the donkey's reign. "Let's go." He signed and walked away from the house. I slid the bolt over the door and joined him and our two sons.

We didn't have far to walk from our home in Bethlehem since Moab was across the Jordan river.  Once we arrived, Elimilech found the perfect place to build a temporary home. "Maybe next year we could go back to Bethlehem," he said.

He and our sons, Mahlon and Chilion, worked quickly to build a home for us and a corral for the animals until a barn could be built for them. The animals grazed in the lush green pastures, eating their fill. 

We planted new crops, settled into our new home, and made friends. I didn't want to leave Bethlehem, but I'm thankful for God's gift of a place to sleep and live.

Elimilech never looked well after we left Bethlehem. His face grew pale, he slept longer, and he moved slower. Mahlon and Chilion had to do more of the work each day. One day, Elimilech, my beloved husband, didn't wake from his sleep.

If I didn't have my two sons, I don't know how I would have survived. I couldn't have done all the work to keep food on our table. I missed my husband, but grew thankful God let me have my two sons to take care of our home.

I was hungry for food in Bethlehem, God showed my family a place to live in Moab where we could grow food. I was hungry for company when my husband died, God gave me two sons to take care of me. Thank you God for taking care of us.

1. Who was Elimilech?
2. Why did he choose to move his family away from Bethlehem?
3. Where did they go?
4. What happened in Moab?
5. Sometimes bad things happen to us. We often look at what is bad instead of what is good.  What did Naomi do?

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