Sometimes I get this overwhelming feeling to do way more than physically possible. I think that is part of my learning process- learning to slow down, be more focused and deliberate with my thoughts and projects. My bookshelf is quickly growing with studies I want to embark upon and my schedule is quickly becoming a balancing act. It’s time to stop and take a moment to slowwwwww downnnnnn.
I’ll start by picking one of my most recent journal entries from the past few days. Hand writing is always my first choice in journaling…I just haven’t become entirely comfortable with typing just yet. Drawing pictures and writing fancy letters is one of my favorite outlets and a keyboard just doesn’t allow me to express my thoughts like a pen and paper. I’m also more likely to drive 30 minutes to speak to someone in person than simply calling them on the phone….yes, I’m stubborn and have issues with technology, at times.
So, what spoke to my heart this weekend? The story of Ruth. The first time around, I was somewhat intrigued with her story, however, it spoke to me even further today when the message at church just happened to be all about Ruth! Earlier in the week I read the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. She is a strong woman who had some very difficult obstacles in her life- marrying and moving to a new land away from her family, losing her husband, brother-in-law and father-in law. Then encountering famine and having to either move back to her family or move on with her widowed Mother-in-law to a place of uncertainty where she was considered “less-than.”
Ruth was faced with a CHOICE: either to trust in God, the God of her mother-in-law, or run to “safety.” How many times have we been given that very same choice? Do we run from placing our Faith in God, or do we stand firm and trust that He has us in His amazingly merciful hands? Do we decide to take the easy road or to just simply ignore the fact that we have God as our director? Is it fear or is it laziness hindering us from our higher callings?
My personal track record isn’t all that impressive in the “choice” department. I’ve run. I’ve feared the raw pain of facing adversity. I’ve hidden from pain by killing it- all the wrong ways. My faith has not shown strong in the past and I’m finally ready to take in the full Grace of my Father! The best and most amazing part of this admission: God has taken me in and is healing my frazzled soul back to His kingdom. I am REDEEMED and I am not alone.
Ive heard the term, “redeemed” way more times than I can count and I’ve never fully thought about what it actually means…until today. The dictionary meaning of “redeemed” is: to recover ownership by a specified sum. What hit me was, “by a specified sum.” What sum? Does this mean there is a fee? Redemption isn’t free? Who knows, maybe there are souls out there who don’t have to put any work into the choices they make and maybe faith just comes completely natural to them. That is NOT the case for me and my stubborn heart! And, oh, I wish I could say it were…or maybe I should thank God even more for teaching me some very hard lessons on faith! Lessons that have brought me so much closer to Him and lessons that I might be able to use in helping other people who are as “challenged” as I. Just maybe.
Back to Ruth’s story: she moved to Moab with her mother-in-law, who changed her name to “Mara” which means “bitter”. So, right away, it’s pretty clear the road is not so sweet and fun for either women. They are basically at the level of beggars and Ruth has to go into fields and follow harvest workers around, picking up the leftovers they drop behind them. She eventually, because she faithfully endures, is noticed and redeemed by the rich cousin of her late husband and ultimately marries him and bares a son in the lineage of King David!
So, what do I learn from this amazing woman? She was courageous in her faith and worked hard to receive final redemption. Praise God for beautiful hearts like Ruth’s for us to learn from! Praise God!
Let’s put our trust in God, hold onto hope, put our faith to work and Be Redeemed! Suggested reading: the book of Ruth.
In God’s Love,