I don’t like the word “widow” at all. It’s depressing. It brings to mind women who have lost their zeal for life or who have lost their “status” for life. Often, when a woman becomes a widow or divorced, that is exactly how she feels; among a myriad of other feelings. However…please read on…there is hope for joy again!
In biblical times, women surely had a difficult road to travel when they became widows. Think of the story in the book of Ruth. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, lost not only her husband but her two sons as well; one son being the husband of Ruth. She was devastated. In fact, when she returned to her hometown, she told the people there who knew her not to call her Naomi but to call her Mara which means “bitter.” This is particularly interesting because Naomi means “pleasant.” So Naomi went from being pleasant to being bitter because God had taken away her husband and provider.
It was very difficult for women in biblical times when a woman lost her husband….
“the loss of a husband in ancient Israel was normally a social and economic tragedy. In a generally patriarchal culture, the death of a husband usually meant a type of cultural death as well. Although the denotation of widow referred to a woman whose husband had died, because of the social context the word quickly acquired the connotation of a person living a marginal existence in extreme poverty.” Bible Study Tools Dictionary
As a widow or a divorced woman, life is full of special challenges. Some more difficult than others. I think I can speak for most if not all widows; we can feel so lost when trials come our way. But we can also attest that our amazing God is always there when we need Him and cry out to Him.
God is our protector; in fact He is the only one who has the power to do anything about our problems. He can make them go away completely or He can walk through them with you so you learn personally about His love for you.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:7-8 (NIV)
If you read through the book of Ruth, you will see God doing exactly this. It’s truly a story worth reading. You will be encouraged as you read how God sees us and is with us. Nothing escapes His attention.
Have you ever allowed God to be your hiding place? Have you ever surrendered your fears to Him; the only one who can do something about whatever you’re facing? We can tell you from experience when you do that, you will find peace.
Our Prayer for You
Dear Lord, take all those who read these words, who need You to be their protector and comforter and give them peace. Open their hearts and spiritual eyes that they can see and understand that it is only You that provides, protects, guides and deeply loves us. Help us all to make You the love of our lives. Remind us to call on You to express our love for You; not only when we are in need but when we are brimming with joy seeing how You are at work in our lives. You are our hiding place and we are comforted to know that You “rejoice over us with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17