10 At this, [Ruth] bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” 11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:10-12)
I am sure as Ruth stood speaking to Boaz that she wondered what she had done to garner his attention. Perhaps she was worried about having done something to offend him or anger him, which meant she would have to find another field to glean in. She thought she knew the answer when she asked him why she had warranted his attention. She was not asking for or expecting Boaz to compliment her.
Because instead of judgment or condemnation, he offered her grace and compassion … and respect. She possibly saw a little astonishment as he recited her reputation in their small community and heard his prayer of blessing over her.
For her, it was nothing worthy of such praises. She was a simple woman, taking care of someone who had loved her well during their time together. It was the least she could do for Naomi, who had taken care of her and shown her how big and amazing God’s love was. To her, it was the easy choice to make. It didn’t matter what people thought, though she probably wondered if they would see her as anything more than a foreigner. Maybe she wondered what people were saying about her. Maybe she wasn’t.
Maybe you wonder what people are saying about you.
How would you hope people think about and talk about you?
How would you hope people finish this sentence about you: she is the one who ___?
I recently asked this question, and someone responded with “she is the one who tried.” And as I read the words, my heart broke.
Why? Isn’t trying good?
Because I read that statement as a testament of defeat.
She tried, believing she would probably fail.
She tried, having little to no faith in a good outcome.
She tried, without hope of God’s goodness and grace toward her.
She tried, believing more in herself than in God.
She tried, limiting herself and the possible outcomes.
And a warrior spirit rose up in me against this defeatist attitude, wanting to battle try with something more powerful – trust!
She is the one who trusted, knowing God would give her strength to keep going.
She is the one who trusted, never giving up hope that God would bring good.
She is the one who trusted, knowing God would provide.
She is the one who trusted, knowing God has always proven Himself trustworthy and good.
She is the one who trusted, knowing the impossible is always possible with God.
Don’t you want people to see the faith in you to trust … and keep trusting, no matter what?
Here’s how I would want people to finish that sentence about me:
She is the one who trusted God.
She is the one who always went after God’s best.
She is the one who loved her family well.
She is the one who never gave up – on herself, on God, on grace.
She is the one who trusted God more than anything else.
She is the one who was intentional about her relationship with God.
She is the one who refused to be limited to try.
Do you want to be limited to trying?
Or do you want to thrive because you trusted?
Be a Ruth, whose reputation of faith preceded her into favor and family. Be a person who chooses to trust through all circumstances and situations, knowing God will come through.
Marie Fremin. 1/16/20, 3/15/20.