In life, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes our plans fail, people move away, maybe we lose a job, or even lose a family member. What do we do when the hard times come? It’s easy to just feel like giving up or live a life of questions, and even bitterness.
When Ruth’s husband died, she had every right to be upset. She could have gone back to her country and felt sorry for herself. I’m sure, as any of us would have done the same. Ruth had a period of sadness in her life, but she chose to help someone else in the midst of her pain. Instead of just carrying her pain around and shutting down, she put her focus into helping her mother-in-law, and honestly the girl went to work. She worked hard gathering food each day. She was consistent in her day to day life.
In this study of Ruth, I have been so challenged by her faithfulness in adverse circumstances, but also her obedience. Obedience is something that we all know is right, but sometimes can be hard to walk out-especially when things get hard.
In chapter 3, Naomi (Ruth’s MIL) gives her very strict instructions in verses 3-4 on how to approach Boaz. Now, I love Ruth’s response because she says in verse 5 “I will do everything you say”. How many of us respond that way when we are given instructions from our parents, in-laws, bosses, or even God? A lot of times we think we can come up with a better plan on our own, or think advice from older people is antiquated or not relevant.
Just think of what might have happened if Ruth had disobeyed Naomi’s instruction. She could have ended up in bad shape-alone, with no hope of being redeemed, to fend for herself. What would have happened if she left to return to her homeland immediately after her husband died? She would have never met Boaz, her family wouldn’t have been redeemed. Most likely, Ruth would not have remarried-most women were not wanted unless they were virgins in that time, so a widowed woman was destined to remain alone for the rest of her life.
If circumstances in your life have led you to a place where things are hard, remember to always obey the Lord, regardless of what or where He is leading you. His way is ALWAYS the best way. I don’t believe it’s His will that Ruth had to suffer, but in her suffering He created a way for her to live a life of honor and restoration. BUT, it was because of her obedience to God, to Naomi and to Boaz that things worked out this way. Let’s lay aside every selfish desire of our own and strive to be obedient in all things. Remember that even the smallest things to us are significant to the Lord.
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, than out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.”
Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez