For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to Ruth from the Bible. Her devotion to her mother-in-law is inspiring. Her happily ever after is beautiful. But I’ve been thinking about what qualities I so admire in her. And I think it is simply that she simply put one foot in front of the other, trusting God with every thing she did, without expecting a reward.
Ruth honored her family and God.
That’s it. When her husband died, she could have been consumed by that circumstance. Wallowed in self-pity. Thought the world and God owed her more than she had gotten. And instead, she decides to remain true to the family she married into. To follow her mother-in-law, even if it meant leaving behind her biological family and her culture and her friends and the religion she had grown up with and everything that was familiar to her.
And so they journey together. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy journey, two women alone without an air-conditioned vehicle to drive in and a GPS. But they put one foot in front of the other and travelled onward.
And when they finally got to their destination, to where Ruth and Naomi felt sure things would get better, Naomi was reminded of all that she had lost. And she became depressed.
Ruth worked hard.
So Ruth woke up every morning to provide for the two of them. She worked harder than the other workers, gleaning wheat. She persevered and she maintained a positive attitude and people noticed her character.
Boaz in particular noticed. And that’s where the story takes a beautiful turn. One in which Boaz eventually takes Ruth to be his wife. And they have a child together. And I’m sure Ruth kept on keeping on, doing what she did best. She worked hard to provide a clean, happy home for her husband, mother-in-law and son. She cooked meals and I’m sure lent a hand to those in the community who needed help. That was her spirit, her character, her heart.
Ruth didn’t expect a reward.
We make a big deal about how Ruth was rewarded for her faithfulness by becoming the great-great grandmother of King David, and it is an awesome and amazing thing for sure. But, I don’t think she ever got to see that happen in her lifetime. I don’t think she got to see all of God’s work in her life and her situation, how it resulted in her lineage including King David, and then much later, the Messiah.
And to be honest, I find that encouraging. Sure, I want to know what God’s plan is for my life and my childrens’ lives. I want to know exactly how my children having various special needs brings God glory.
But, what I find encouraging about it is simply that all I have to do is keep on keeping on. Keep on taking care of my family. Keep on loving God and being obedient to Him. And something good and beautiful will happen. Now, yes, I want to see it happen in my lifetime. But if it doesn’t, I’m learning to be ok with that. Because I know that “He works all things together for those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). I’ve seen Him do it time and again in the Bible. He did for Ruth. He’ll do it for me. He’ll do it for you. That’s just who He is, and I’m glad that His plan and His goal is to “make all things beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
What do you find admirable about Ruth? Do you find her not seeing all of God’s beautiful plan during in her lifetime encouraging or discouraging?
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