It’s been one of those weeks that I’ve found myself needing a little extra encouragement. Can anyone relate? The best remedy is to shift the focus off of ME, ME, ME and look to God’s Word and find a fellow sister whose life was anything but easy, and whose character landed her smack dab in the pages of biblical history - the lineage of Jesus to be exact! Today’s Woman Crush Wednesday for me is Ruth.
Ruth’s courage is what sticks out to me just in the first couple of chapters. Her life challenges me to be a woman whose life reflects the goodness of God in all circumstances. Here are 4 characteristics of courage I see in her life:
· Core: her courage was deeply rooted. We read her beseeching Naomi to not make her stay behind. “…your people will be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16) There was something that she saw in Naomi’s life that caused her to want to serve the God of Israel-it was embedded in her soul.
· Counter-Cultural: how easy would it have been for Ruth to just let Naomi go back to Bethlehem? She could’ve decided to live for herself. She was completely justified. Her husband was dead. Nothing tied her to Naomi and yet, she choose to go to a land where she knew no one, to serve and take care of her mother-in-law. Who does that? Who decides to live for someone else’s benefit? Ruth-that’s who. The world tells us that it’s all about us, our comfort, our wants, our desires..OUCH!
· Consistent: As we move into chapter 2:11-12, Boaz has taken notice of Ruth. Scripture doesn’t tell us how much time has passed, but we know Naomi and Ruth arrived at the beginning of the barley harvest. Despite her circumstances, Ruth got up every day and gleaned the fields. Her mother-in-law was apparently not in any condition to work. Her consistent persistence caught the eye of Boaz. And I ask myself: what area do I need to keep going, pushing, persevering in?
· Contagious: Let’s take a quick trip back to 1:20-21. There was a shift in Naomi’s demeanor when they finally arrived in Bethlehem. She asked the people to call her Mara(which means bitter). That doesn’t sound like the Naomi whose life caused Ruth to serve the God. BUT- somewhere in the midst of Ruth’s display of courage, a transformation happened. By the time we get to the end of chapter 2, we see Naomi come back to her identity-her core. You see, Ruth’s courage was contagious enough, that Naomi was able to be restored HER courage and in turn, be positioned to give Ruth Godly wisdom. She was able to recognize God in Ruth! Talk about full circle, right? (PS. Ruth and Boaz lived happily ever after <3)
Here’s a thought I’m pondering: Who needs me to be a woman of courage? Who needs me to keep God first(core), love and serve unconditionally(counter-cultural), keep persevering(consistent) and live in a way that brings encouragement to others(contagious)?