Day 9

Waiting as Obedience

from the Ruth reading plan

Ruth 3:14-18, Proverbs 31:10-11, Matthew 22:23-33

BY She Reads Truth

Text: Ruth 3:14-18, Proverbs 31:10-11, Matthew 22:23-33

Have there been times in your life when you’ve felt a strong call by the Lord to pursue something? I have. I often start strong, feeling bold and excited, my heart ready and willing to obey. I can’t help but think, This is it! This is the moment life changes because I said yes!

Then, inevitably, a bend or a bump in the smooth, straight road I envisioned leaves me doubting. But wait. I said yes. I was obedient. So why is this still so hard?

Ruth has said all the right yeses in her story. She has been faithful to her mother-in-law Naomi in many ways, but especially so where Boaz is concerned. Ruth has truly put herself out there in trust, and it seems everything has been leading up to this moment.

What a surprise it must have been to be told simply to wait—and not for a certain amount of time, but indefinitely. (Indefinite waiting is the worst kind of waiting, if you ask me.) Ruth was instructed to wait until Boaz found the nearer kin, or redeemer, and ask if that man would marry Ruth, per the custom of their culture (Ruth 3:12-13). And who knew how long that would take or what would happen?

We aren’t told if this frustrated Ruth, but it frustrates me for her. This is the point where I’d likely throw in the towel, caught up in a thought spiral that goes something like this: Well, it’s all over now. I’ll be married to some man I’ve never met, these past few months will have been a total waste, and all I’ll have to show for it is a sore back and some barley. Perfect.

But Naomi—the same woman who once named herself “Bitter”—offered enough faith for the both of them. She encouraged Ruth, saying, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out” (Ruth 3:18).

Wait, and then wait again. Isn’t this the way of life? Nowhere are we promised an easy time just because we obey or come to what we believe is a capital-A Answer. But our Father waits too—both with us and for us. His Word says that He longs to be gracious toward us and show us compassion and mercy (Isaiah 30:18). “His steadfast love endures forever,” through all things, all the time, just like the psalm says (Psalm 118).

This doesn’t mean that things will turn out exactly the way we think they should. But it does mean that God’s hand is always at work in our story, even when we can’t see it. Even when we’re waiting. God’s plan would have still gone ahead of Ruth, even if Boaz came back to say he couldn’t marry her. She would still have been God’s daughter, and His covenant promise to her would still have been true.

In your waiting place, cling to the hope that God will not leave our stories unfinished or unredeemed. They may not look how we expected but, as with Ruth and Naomi, our story is His story. We can wait with hope, and we can trust and obey with confidence. Thanks be to God.


Post Comments (117)

117 thoughts on "Waiting as Obedience"

  1. Josie McClung says:

    I love this reminder of what it looks like to be patient. I know with Ruth we know the outcome of her waiting and know it is so good, but when it comes to our own lives it is so hard to see that possibility because we are inpatient beings. One of the best things I’ve ever heard is “the worst thing God can do, is to give you exactly what you want when you want it.” That simple sentence is heavy and I love meditating on how true it is.

  2. Steph C says:

    “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has settled things today” (3:18). Be patient. Wait. Those have to be some of the more difficult commands of Scripture. I’ve been in a period of waiting for several years now. And I did not respond well. I rejected God. Turned my back on Him. Went my own way. For 4.5 years. He be never gave up on me. He kept drawing me back. He forgave me and restored me when I fell on my face in repentance and desperate need. Now I’m entering another time of waiting. Waiting in hope. Anticipation. Excited, but still dreading the wait. Oh God, let me cling to You in hope, knowing that You have a perfect plan for my family.

  3. Evie says:

    The Lord has been reverberating the word “cling” in my readings recently, and the author of this devo also used it. Reading Ruth this time, I am so keenly aware that Naomi and Ruth’s story is one of clinging to the Lord, when things are uncertain, in waiting and in action, in loss and in triumph. Clinging, means for dear life. That we cannot live or do anything without God. Thank you Father that we may cling onto you in all seasons of life.

  4. patsy Anne says:

    There comes a time of “waiting” but there comes a point when most likely a multitude of people are involved in the decision making! This is unfair to the person waiting as they are the innocent party & maybe they have been waiting for decades which is damaging their mental & physical health. ONE PERSON has to make the “call”.

  5. Krystle says:

    I had so much faith I was going to be given a daughter – after
    Reading Ruth I feel like its God’s way of saying no. Did I totally miss the point???

    1. Monica says:

      Most probably not, Ruth is God’s way of saying that He’s writing your story, even though it might not look exactly the way you pictured that it was going to turn out, look at what happened to Naomi in the end as well. God might use your pain to bring joy to others as well when He restores you. Was talking to someone yesterday and she sent me the following link which I think might help a bit, promise it’s nothing funny..
      May God increase you and then multiply your increase*

  6. Kat says:

    I am in awe how the Lord spoke loudly and directly to my heart during this day’s reading! He’s been speaking to me and over me for a few weeks, but I failed to hear Him until this very moment. I have been brought out into the light and for that I am so grateful. Tune my heart Lord. Forever and Alway!

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