Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I find myself reading in Ruth today. I am seeking life lessons in her story. The book of Ruth is one of faith, love and encouragement. We see the meaning of family and hanging in there when things get tough. My Wednesday woman is Ruth today. We meet Ruth through Naomi. Naomi is married to Elimelech. They had two sons, Maylon and Kilion. Now these young men married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. During hard years, Naomi loses her husband, and then not many years later, she loses both sons. What a traumatic experience for anyone.

Naomi was feeling all alone, but she had her two daughters in law to love and care for her. They each wanted to stay together, but Naomi was encouraging them to go back to their mother's homes and live again, marry again and have children. Orpah listens and goes back to her homeland, not willingly, but obediently. Ruth is not budging. She is staying with her mother in law.

Now see, this is where I have such deep respect for Ruth. I would run the other direction away from my mother in law. I have love for my mother in law, but we do not have a working relationship. I should say, it's one of those relationships that take constant work and most of the time I'm left feeling as if I can never give enough. No matter how much I try, I feel as though I will never be good enough to meet her standards. Although I so wish I could. I would love to have the relationship with her that Ruth and Naomi hold together. They have a great bond. A great love holding them together. Ruth is willing to give up all for her mother in law.

Ruth is determined to care for Naomi, a woman that is heart broken. And you know Ruth is also. Ruth lost her husband, a brother in law and father in law, but she pushes through. She could have taken the easy road and went back to her homeland, but she chooses to stay, and is not concerned with how hard it will be.

Ruth is strong, courageous, and giving. In Ruth 1:16-18 it says; "But Ruth replied, Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us! When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more."

What devotion, what determination, and what love for one another. This is what family is. I love this brave and beautiful woman before us taking a new journey with her mother in law, Naomi. Together they will stand, and together they will follow God. But Naomi is growing bitter (vs.20-21). She feels as though she had much, and now has little, but through Ruth, God shows her just how blessed she is. Isn't that just like us? We spend so much time thinking of what we don't have, we miss out on what we do have. But God has some lessons here to show just how blessings are right before our eyes, even when we think all is lost.

Ruth goes to work the fields, not as others do, but walking behind the threshers, picking up the grain that is left over, which isn't much, but Ruth is willing to work to provide for Naomi. Ruth is noticed by Boaz. Don't you just see a love story beginning here? I picture Boaz as this tanned, handsome, well built man, walking his fields. He sees beautiful Ruth and questions, "Who is this amazing woman in my field?" Talk about a Hallmark movie! They meet, they talk, and it's love at first sight. Boaz takes care of Ruth.He gives her special privileges, and makes sure the other men do not bother her or approach her. Boaz becomes her redeemer or kinsmen. Boaz goes through all that is necessary to marry Ruth. He purchases Naomi's land, and with it, comes Ruth as his wife. Kind of a big purchase isn't it? But I think Boaz would have gone to heaven and back for this woman he was falling for. Together they live, grow, as Ruth has a child, Naomi now has a grandchild to love, to bring her happiness and fill her heart with joy again.

I see sacrifice, giving, service, and going beyond the call of duty. Ruth didn't care for Naomi out of obligation, she did so out of pure love and honor. What a relationship they had. One of trust and great love. In  Ruth 3  it states; "Now don't worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman." For others to see Ruth as a virtuous woman speaks volumes of who she is. She is a woman I want to strive to be like. She set aside her own dreams, and made Naomi part of her dreams. I see Ruth as not holding on to the past, but moving forward in faith. That is why she is my Wednesday Woman. You can read Naomi and Ruth's story in the book of Ruth. It is one that will fill you with wisdom, and give you a picture of family and faith. Together, side by side, these women made life sweeter and richer for one another. They lifted each other up, gave encouragement and set on a course together to live again after tragedy struck their family. They would forever continue to be family. Faith involves the willingness to take risks, to believe in the unseen and that is exactly what Ruth did. Ruth just didn't live the ordinary, she lived the extraordinary!


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