But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” – Ruth 1:16
Naturally, I am drawn to the book of Ruth. In fact, of all the books of the Bible this one probably has the most handwritten notes from over the years. Countless times I have turned to Ruth’s story for inspiration or comfort in times of struggle.
When it came time to sit down and write this blog, many different ideas came to mind. Normally, I focus on the loyalty of Ruth. She is so steadfast in her devotion to Naomi that it is remarkable and admirable. Sometimes I’ve focused on Boaz and the man of God he is, and I’ve even written a blog on the Lord’s timing and provision. But today I want to focus on something different. I want to focus on Ruth’s faith which caused her to stay the course in the midst of uncertainty.
If you don’t know the story of Ruth, you can read it HERE. It’s only 4 chapters but it is full of encouragement about what it means to remain diligent and steadfast in faith.
Let’s turn now to the second chapter where Ruth takes it upon herself to provide for the well-being of herself and Naomi. As a foreigner in the land, she risked bodily harm as well as her pride to find food.
Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. – Ruth 2:2-3
For Ruth, the job was to glean in the fields and provide for herself and her mother-in-law. But to the Lord there was a far greater plan at work. How do we know this? Well, the writer of the book of Ruth tells us just who noticed Ruth gleaning in the fields—and who owned that field. Boaz, a man after the Lord’s heart, owned the very field Ruth was working in, and he just so happened to be the guardian-redeemer for Naomi’s family.
At a moment when all seemed desperate, the Lord was orchestrating plans far beyond what Ruth could comprehend. All she had to do was carry out her role of due diligence—gleaning in the field and taking the next step before her. She didn’t know the Lord was about to redeem her family. She didn’t know she would become the great-grandmother of King David and be in the lineage of Christ. She simply remained faithful to the task before her—one step at a time, one sheaf of grain at a time.
It brings to mind a beautiful verse that compels us to look to the Word which lights the way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. –Psalm 119:105
It is in those moments when, like Ruth, we continue to press on not knowing the end result, yet trusting in the One who goes before us, that we bring glory to His name. It’s not for our sake that we walk in blind faith, but rather to establish at the helm the One who leads the way. For it is only when we move diligently and lay all fear before the Lord, asking and trusting Him, that we get to experience the power of His provision and the wonder of His majesty. He writes stories we cannot fathom and then, like Ruth, we get to take a step back and see all that the Lord has done. In that day, we understand and grasp the intricate tapestry He has pieced together.
So take a moment and think, what is it that you need to remain steadfast in today? Is there an area where you are struggling to see purpose? Do you feel like Ruth gleaning for scraps in a foreign land, in a place where you are wondering, “How did I even get here?”
Perhaps you need to continue praying for your family, for your husband, for your children. Maybe you need to choose to love someone difficult—or make the firm decision to love someone even though you want to be angry. Perhaps you need to let go and forgive. Do you need to lean into His Word daily? Or maybe you need to carry on in grief, moving forward with the Lord by your side.
Think about it, what is weighing on you today? And now, with that struggle firmly in place, take a step back. Do you believe in a God who works everything together for good? If so, then what is the next step you need to take to press on? What do you need to do to continue to glean in the field, trusting that the Lord is working something greater for His glory?
Keep moving and keep working, knowing full well that all will work together for the Lord’s might and His glory.
Say this phrase with me in holy surrender of whatever burdens you today, “Soli Deo Gloria.” (For glory to God alone)
And so, like Ruth, press on in blind faith, my friend. Press on.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21