BY Diana Stone
Text: Ruth 3:14-18
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” – William Carey
Many times in life I feel called by God, strongly, to pursue something. I start it with bold excitement, my heart ready and willing. And I think, This is it! The moment life changes because I said Yes!
Then inevitably, a bend in that straight road I envisioned makes me think, But wait, I said yes. I was obedient. Why is this still hard?
We see in Ruth the same scenario. She has been obedient 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—everything is leading up to this moment.
What a surprise to hear that she will need to wait until Boaz finds the nearer redeemer (kin) and ask if he will marry Ruth, as was the custom.
We don’t know if Ruth is frustrated here, but I am frustrated for her. This is the point where I’d throw in the towel, with a spiral of, “Well, it’s all over. I’ll be married to some man I’ve never met, these past few months were a waste, and I’ve got barley and a sore back to show for last night. Perfect.”
Naomi, who has gone from calling herself “Bitter” to believing again, is the beacon of hope in this process. She says to Ruth, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out…” (Ruth 3:18a)
Wait, and then wait again. Isn’t this the very essence of life? Nowhere are we promised an easy time because we obey or reach what we think is the answer. Waiting seems to make up a good portion of our lives. Do you trust that God truly does have “plans to give you a hope and a future”? (Jer. 29:11, NIV)
This doesn’t mean that things turn out exactly the way we think they should. Had Boaz come back and told Ruth he wasn’t able to marry her, God’s plan would have gone ahead of hers. He would have come through, provided for her, remembered His promise.
In your waiting place, cling to the hope that never once has our God left our story unfinished and unredeemed. It may not look how we expected but, as with Ruth and Naomi, our story is His story—it was then and it will be in years to come. We are only to wait, to trust, to obey.