Searching beyond the surface in the book of Ruth, I discovered a layer I desperately needed.

Dearest Reader,

Our season of heaviness lingers. I see your stories, and I know it may feel the same in your life. Hard seasons wear on you day after day. I am learning that moving forward in trust is not easy, but it is the only way.

I hear you, Friend. I don’t like it any more than you.

I found encouragement recently as I was reading the book of Ruth.

Grab a seat, a mug of hot comfort, I’ll grab my coffee, and we will talk.

I’ve been using a new to me method of studying God’s Word, called the H.E.A.R. Method. You can learn more about the H.E.A.R. Method at Replicate Ministries and Disciple Her by Kandi Gallaty.

Let’s get to the good stuff.

Ruth. Loyal, compassionate, obedient, trusting, trustworthy, dedicated, and more.

Each time I’ve approached the book of Ruth, I am amazed at her characteristics. I stare at the words in awe of the Moabite woman who chose to follow rather than to turn away. I get excited as I near the closing and run my fingers across the lineage of Christ.

But this time as I journaled using the H.E.A.R. Method, God took me beyond the surface of what I typically see.

Read with me Ruth, Chapter Three from The Christian Standard Bible

Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, ‘My daughter, shouldn’t I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of? Now isn’t Boaz our relative? Haven’t you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where he’s lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do.’

***

So Ruth said to her, ‘I will do everything you say.’ She went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law had charged her to do. After Boaz ate, drank, and was in good spirits, he went to lie down at the end of the pile of barley, and she came secretly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.

***

At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman! So he asked, ‘Who are you?’
‘I am Ruth, your servant,’ she replied. ‘Take me under your wing, for you are a family redeemer.’
Then he said, ‘May the Lord bless you, my daughter. You have shown more kindness now than before, because you have not pursued younger men, whether rich or poor. Now don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do for you whatever you say, since all the people in my town know that you are a woman of noble character.Yes, it is true that I am a family redeemer, but there is a redeemer closer than I am. Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that’s good. Let him redeem you. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, as the Lord lives, I will. Now lie down until morning.’
So she lay down at his feet until morning but got up while it was still dark. Then Boaz said, ‘Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.’ And he told Ruth, ‘Bring the shawl you’re wearing and hold it out.’ When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she went into the town.

***

She went to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who asked her, ‘What happened, my daughter?’ Then Ruth told her everything the man had done for her. She said, ‘He gave me these six measures of barley, because he said, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’
Naomi said, ‘My daughter, wait until you find out how things go, for he won’t rest unless he resolves this today.'”

I found Ruth in the midst of the unknown. My eyes opened to the similarities we share.

 “So Ruth said to her, ‘I will do everything you say.” (verse 5)

The Moabite woman is at the mercy of her circumstances, her mother in law, the other kinsman redeemer, and Boaz. On the surface, this is what seems to be true. However, Ruth’s story goes deeper than she will ever know.

Like me and you, Ruth, at that moment had no idea how things were going to end. All she knew was to listen, serve, wait, and obey.

She is amid the wilderness with no answers. She continues to move through her story with grace and dignity.

I don’t know where you are, but I want answers amid the wilderness.

We don’t like the unknown. Instead, we want the GPS, the map, the notes, and specific answers to how it is going to end. Honestly, I want it finished. Over and done, please and thank you.

Ruth is a story of redemption, provision, and a vision of God’s bigger plan. It’s no different for us.

God has a bigger plan. Yes, I realize that is the pat answer, but the reality is, it’s the truth.

We are not privy to the plan; however, we are participants with God. We are trusting a good Father who loves nothing more than redemption for our wilderness journeys. He longs for intimacy as we struggle through our days when answers seem so far away.

He begs us to trust Him with our story just as He was trustworthy in Ruth’s.

Dearest One, I pray Ruth will give you hope amid your uncertainty.

From the Wilderness Place

Your Wilderness Guide,

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to guide you through your wilderness as I journey through mine. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com. 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word is available now. Order your copy today.