Summary: How many of you have felt like you want to throw up both hands and just quit. You have nothing left in the tank. I know I have.
In cars the gas tank sensor will detect how much fuel is left.
When you're driving with the indicator on empty,
"I'm running on empty".
this also applied to people.
If you are exhausted and feel like you can't go on much longer,
you can say "I'm running on empty."
I’m sure there are many of you like myself who knows how it feels
to run on empty in in life.
Bad relationships, Children, family, work, School.
Life situations at times seems to drain all of our energy.
Dreams and unmet dreams or expectations
can drain your energy level also.
There are times our energy level is so depleted thinking
about replenishing our life’s tank is exhausting.
I’ve been spending some time
reflecting on my life,
and how it’s turned out so far.
I can think back upon the dreams for my life
that I had in my youth,
and I can safely say that very few of them
have survived the passage of the years.
And maybe you can relate to that as well.
There are shattered dreams, and broken hopes,
and unmet expectations that litter the years
of our lives.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that
life hasn’t been good.
It also doesn’t mean that new dreams
haven’t been reached for and attained.
And it doesn’t mean that we need to live with sorrow
in the present at our regrets in the past either.
But it does mean
that there have been times of sorrow and sadness,
times of deep questioning and searching,
times of hurt and anger and
maybe even bitterness or despair,
that have left their mark upon our lives.
I think Naomi could probably relate to some of that.
Life certainly had not turned out
like she had hoped it would.
In point of fact,
her life, in many ways,
had been hard,
full of shattered dreams and disappointments,
not to mention heartache and loss.
Bit by bit everything she had held on to and
put her happiness and joy in
had been lost to her.
Now allow me to give you a little backdrop here:
The famine led them to leave their home in Bethlehem,
to part with family and friends and all things familiar,
and to go to a foreign land where God was not known.
It was in that land of Moab
that her husband would pass away
leaving Naomi to raise their two sons alone.
Things looked up as they in turn grew into men,
met the young women who would become their wives,
and got married.
This was a chance for Naomi to live again,
to enjoy getting to know her daughters-in-law,
to anticipate the arrival of grandchildren,
to know that her own children
would care for her in her old age.
Yet all those dreams are shattered
as her sons meet their own end in the land of Moab
just as their father had.
Once again beloved,
Naomi is left, in many ways alone,
and without hope for the future.
Life goes on,
but she’s running on empty.
There seems to be nothing left to give and
nothing left to live for.
And maybe you can relate because
you’ve been there too;
maybe you are even in that place today.
You feel like giving up
but you just keep pressing on
even though you are running on empty.
Life in Moab,
while it once seemed to promise so much, has,
in the end, become very bitter for Naomi.
She has hit the bottom,
reached the lowest of the lows,
and it’s when she’s in that deep dark night of the soul
that she decides to head home,
to return to Judah,
the place of praise.
It’s from out of that dark empty space,
that she begins the journey back to God,
but she doesn’t walk that road alone;
Ruth will walk it with her,
and that’s where we pick up their story this morning,
Ruth, chapter 1, beginning in verse 19 …
19 So Naomi and Ruth went on until they came to the town of Bethlehem.
When they entered Bethlehem,
all the people became very excited.
The women of the town said,
“Is this really Naomi?”
20 Naomi answered the people,
“Don’t call me Naomi.
Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very sad.
21 When I left, I had all I wanted, but now,
the Lord has brought me home with nothing.
Why should you call me Naomi
when the Lord has spoken against me and
the Almighty has given me so much trouble?”
22 So Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth, the Moabite,
returned from Moab and arrived at Bethlehem at
the beginning of the barley harvest.
Now let’s look at their journey.
The journey back would have been difficult for two women