Do you often wonder how to help people who are suffering? Perhaps you’ve got someone right now in your life that is going through a serious setback, and you want to know how to help lift their spirits. It can be challenging, because words of comfort don’t roll off our tongues as easily as we would like.

Ruth gives us a good example. She was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, who had just lost everything—her home, her land, and her family. She was in the throes of despair. Ruth had suffered recently as well, though not as terribly. Still, she went out of her way to be there for Naomi, and God blessed her as a result.

What exactly did Ruth do? The Scripture doesn’t record a lot of incredible words—just sacrificial actions. Ruth gave the gift of her presence, over and over again. She was there for her, pledging to go wherever she went and do whatever she needed to do. More importantly, she didn’t just say these things, she did them.

At the end of the story, we see a revived, joyful Naomi who is able to again give of herself to Ruth. She became a wise counselor and friend.

The best gift you can give grieving loved ones in need is the gift of your presence. Weep with them. Run errands for them. Share helpful Scriptures with them. Meet their physical needs.

Ruth’s example of quiet, compassionate, sacrificial love helps us as we seek to help others.

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable but to make us comforters. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder