Today’s Scripture: And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Ruth 1:16

It is never easy to deal with death. Death brings with it a cold, hard finality. It is especially hard when death involves someone you’ve cared for and loved. Scripture does not give all the details surrounding the deaths of Ruth and Naomi’s husbands, but it was certainly a hard, terrible time.

In Ruth 1:16, there is a major turning point in the story. This is the point where Ruth says, “I’m no longer trusting in my idols. I am trusting in the one true God of Israel.” What is important here is not the amount of her faith, but the object of her faith – Jehovah God.

Here we see a very big turning point in a very sad saga. This is where the story turns from a story of tears and sorrow to a story of joy. That’s really what a fresh start is – when God takes your tears of sorrow and turns them into tears of joy.

Maybe you didn’t have to deal with a horrible loss like death, but you’re dealing with other losses in your life. As you are looking ahead to a new year, remember that God can take the sorrow you have experienced and change it into joy. Ask Him for the grace and strength to leave the past in the past and move forward towards a fresh start.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr