I began Week 4 of Premium Roast with Ruth during lunch. After reading chapters 3 and 4, Sandi asks: What details in the Book of Ruth encourage you to trust God more fully?
I had to really work through this question because, at first, I really didn't see anything encouraging.
Ruth is wonder woman! She's young, she's strong, she's healthy. There's no information about her thoughts or feelings. She doesn't appear stressed, tired, lonely, discouraged, home sick, depressed, resentful, or angry. I'm not Ruth and I don't ever foresee being like her. Who can, is what I want to know. This is not encouraging.
There are a lot of "coincidences" in Ruth. God's timing and handy work is obvious. The conflict appears to be that Naomi says she's empty. Then in four short little chapters, Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz's lives are turned happily ever after. Naomi is no longer in fear of starvation, Ruth has security, and Boaz has a hot wife. Full. But the message isn’t that things always turn out happily ever after because sometimes they just don't. Will I see a happy ending to my conflicts?
- I read one time where a woman prayed everyday for years so that a relative might be saved and they were. I haven’t prayed everyday for my father. I’ve gone through periods of discouragement and given up. Now I have guilt.
- I’m waiting for approval from the insurance company to have some surgery. There are dozens of factors involved. Will the approval come through and in time? If I don’t call the doctor’s office and insurance company every week it won’t move forward.
It appears that not only can I save marriages and souls, but I can also speed up insurance claims!
I seem to believe that if I do the exact right thing I generate sovereign power. By doing or saying the exact right thing I can manipulate the universe to heal disease, reconcile relationships, and unite you with the Creator.
How’s this working out for me? Not so much.
So how does the Book of Ruth encourage me to trust God?
Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz didn’t try to make anything happen. They just did what was within their power to do. They loved, learned, and lived.
Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. –Deuteronomy 30:19-20
God is the one with the plan. And you know what? It’s working out perfectly.