Ruth 3:11

And now my daughter, do not fear.
I will do for you all that you ask,
for all my fellow townsmen know
that you are a worthy woman.
Ruth 3:11
I admire the Old Testament woman Ruth. Really, I do. She encountered great difficulties when she was a young woman. First the death of her father-in-law, then infertility, then the deaths of her husband, and her brother-in-law. To top it all off, she moved to a foreign land with her  mother-in-law who wanted to change her name from Naomi to Maura which means bitter. Still, as a widow and a foreigner, Ruth listened to her mother-in-law’s wisdom and married Boaz, the man God called to be her husband. I wish I was more like Ruth because her story is both inspiring and challenging. Unfortunately, I have to admit that most of the time, I’m not much like her.

I think that the main reason I’m usually not a ‘Ruth’ kind of person is because my focus is more inward than outward. Self-analysis is my hobby. The hours fly by while I second guess what I have done in the past, calculate what will impress people in my present, and create a plan of action that matches my dreams for my future. Ruth shows me a better way.
Ruth focused on God’s will and the needs of others, not on herself. When her mother-in-law gave advice based on her past experience in a country and culture foreign to Ruth, she trusted and obeyed Naomi. Ruth recognized the open-doors set before her and bravely walked through them. She honored Naomi’s hopeful claim of a future husband, ‘a kinsman redeemer’, by seeking after him. Because Ruth’s focus was outward rather than inward when Boaz entered her life, she recognized him for who he was–the man sent by God to care for her.

But, as I frequently remind God, I can’t become a ‘Ruth’ kind of person on my own. I don’t have what it takes to navigate scary and sacrificial change like she did. So I bargain with God and tell him, ‘You didn’t make Ruth do everything by herself, You gave her a redeemer, and I’d like one too.’ No sooner are the words out of my mouth than my Redeemer shows up. Not Boaz of course, but Jesus.
Jesus, the ransom for sinners. Jesus, who redeemed his children by his precious blood. Jesus, our healer and hope. Jesus, whose spirit dwells within us.

Because he lives in our hearts, we can become worthy men and women. We can look up, not only in. We can partner with Jesus in the hard work of transformation and we can carry him into a world hungry for hope and thirsty for living water. In Jesus we can become a ‘Ruth’ kind of people. The people he created us to be.
Jolene Philo | Author 

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