Stepping Out

Her future looked more than dim.  It was all but dead and buried in the body of her late husband now shrouded in a tomb.  To all appearance, barrenness marked her story.  In a radical act of trust, Ruth made a decision.  Linking her future with a broken woman, who of her own volition renamed herself for the bitterness that beset her, Ruth chose to follow the indefinable voice that called to her--cling, do not let go.

A well-known, often quoted verse, Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him."  He is and He gives.  At the root of His very being is the goodness that asks for our trust.  Faith supersedes our mindful knowledge of Him, for even the demons believe in His existence (James 2:19).  True faith is an act of intimacy.

Hope--though a seemingly simple word, the four letters are fraught with implications of a loss of control, the inherent requirement to risk and the possibility of disappointment.  And all in a timing not of our own choosing.  Taking refuge in the Lord is not only an act of faith; it is one of direct obedience, and one not always easily or readily measured in our circumstances.

Rather than waiting for her knight in shining armor, or her aging mother-in-law, to define her future, Ruth chose to act from a place of selflessness.  Ruth 2:2 records how "One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, 'Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.' Naomi replied, 'All right, my daughter, go ahead.'"  In her own pervasive place of  loneliness and need, Ruth decided to play a part in someone else's story.  Little could she have anticipated the far-reaching impact of her choice.

Trusting God to take care of us doesn't mean remaining in a holding pattern and waiting for our answers to come.  It means stepping out and living to invest in someone else's need, all the while resting in the knowledge that God will meet ours.

"May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done."  ---Ruth 2:12


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