Thursday, September 29, 2011

She Came...and She Stayed

“And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.” (Ruth 2:7)

There are five words in this verse that I call Ruth’s trademark: “…so she came and hath continued…” This girl had many admirable qualities, but none that spoke more about her than this. Her decisions were not made lightly because her resolve was deep. People who are quick to make a promise are often just as quick to find a reason not to fulfill it. There were many reapers in the field that day, and no doubt, some of them found the work too hard and the sun too hot for their liking, so they quit before the day was over. Not this girl. When she resolved to leave her homeland and go with her mother-in-law, she willingly subordinated herself to Naomi’s supervision; and this was part of it — the hard, backbreaking part.

I wonder if this could be said about you and me? I’m not talking about housework or other day-to-day projects that can become tedious. I’m talking about when following God takes every bit of strength we can draw from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, when the possible jumping off places in a marriage are coming hard and fast, and when the title “mother” feels more like a ball and chain than a badge of honor. If you have never encountered some flicker of these feelings, you’re either a new Christian, a new bride, or a new mother. J

Some people are slow starters, but I’ll wager there are more who are fast quitters. At least, that has been my observation. Something my husband says brings some clarity to this problem, I think. He contends that anyone who has trouble making and/or keeping a commitment to God cannot be trusted to keep a commitment to anyone else. When Ruth committed herself to the keeping of her mother-in-law, she vowed to Naomi, “…whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Remember, you are not required to outdo, just outlast; you need not dazzle, but you should not fizzle. Your friends, your family, and most importantly, your God are not looking for perfection, just perseverance.

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