Day 16: What if we could {read} the script in advance?

She replied, “Wait, my daughter until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”  Ruth 3:18

As I am spending these 31 days of October reading through the book of Ruth, I am using the word prompts for each day supplied by Kate Motaung (through her Five Minute Friday community of faith writers) to give me a focus for writing each day.  Today the word I’m pondering is {read}.

I’ve {read}.  And prayed.  Asked Holy Spirit to highlight Scripture from the harvest storehouse of Ruth 3 in which to glean truth and wisdom for my own life.  31 days gleaning with Ruth – it’s not just a catchy title of a series.  I am ‘real life’ questioning my way through a famine season grateful for those who have gone before. 31 days gleaning into the night

I can just imagine you – Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz – in that great throng of witnesses on the sideline cheering me on as I participate in the role God wrote just for me in His grand narrative.

And that is exactly what I am pondering today through this one verse Ruth 3:18.  What if we were able to read the script – the grand narrative of God – in advance?  What if read for a particular role?  Would we audition for the part we have?  Would we seek the starring roles?  Or would we rather have a role in the ensemble?

I wonder these things.  (My husband is nodding along right now.)  If Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz could have read the script in advance, would they be delighted with their role?  Would it make a difference in the way they lived out their story knowing the role they would play in history?

Or is it true that the unknown plot twists and unexpected changes in the setting are what character development is really all about?

In this one short verse so much truth is gleaned today.  It’s so easy to read a history and have a false impression of the intensity, the struggle or the dramatic tension of the real-life circumstances.  We read a story from the past with full knowledge of how it all turned out.  However, for those living it day by day, having not {read} the end of the story, the full range of human emotion and struggle to persevere is real.

Naomi and Ruth did not know for sure how their redeemer story was going to turn out.  Though Naomi was raised in the culture and understood the provision of a near kinsman, the exact details were not to be controlled by her.  As Naomi instructed Ruth, Naomi too would have to wait for the outcome and trust Almighty God who had not forgotten them after all.

Ruth trusted Naomi completely and followed Naomi’s instructions to the detail.  Ruth made herself vulnerable and allowed herself to be placed in a seemingly compromising position out of her love for her mother in law and her desire to have her husband’s name prosper into the future through a near kinsman.

Boaz, it seems would be flattered by the role he received, but who could know for sure.  He seemed a gentle, kind man who had protected Ruth in the fields.  Boaz himself was not sure how the whole transaction would be completed.  Even as Boaz declared his desire to buy the land of Elimelech from Naomi and take Ruth to be his wife, there was no guarantee.  Another man, in fair dealing, would be given the first option. ( 5 minutes)Bible {read}

What about me and the part of God’s grand narrative in which I have the privilege to participate?  I’m grateful I didn’t get to {read} the script of my role in advance.  Through this famine season, I am learning to give thanks for God’s sovereignty, for His goodness and steadfast love.  Truly it is a privilege to have been created with a particular role in mind, which could only be fulfilled by my one life played out in the company of all the others with whom I share this place in history.

Grateful too, as I once heard Beth Moore say, I have a place in God’s story just past Hebrews 11:40, as one of the faithful belonging to God’s family.  You too?

Those pages are surely kept in heaven and will be read for ages to come into eternity.  For now, we are able to read the narrative of God’s first faithfulness and love for us in the past, and His good plan for the future when we will live with Him forever without death or pain or anger or hate or defiance or loss.

And in the middle, we watch and listen for His direction.  We choose to participate, persevere in each change of setting, plot twist and allow the narrative to create in us the character and resemblance of our Lord, Jesus Christ… our nearest Redeemer.

Ponders:

Reading through Ruth 3 are you willing to place yourself in a role?  How might you feel, react and what might you hope for, pray and seek if you were Naomi?  Ruth?  Boaz?

  • Would you ask Holy Spirit to teach you what Father wants you to know about your role in His narrative?
  • Will you journal what He is teaching you?  Are there specific Scriptures highlighted for you as you pray and seek wisdom and understanding for your own life?
  • Do you know that you are written in God’s narrative of the faithful (Hebrews 11)?
  • For what in your role in God’s narrative are you thankful?  Who are the people who assist you in your role?  Who is God pointing to whom you might be able to assist in their role?

What if you could read the script of the rest of your life?  Would you want to or is it better to trust the narrative to an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present and unconditionally loving God and Father.

Eyes on Jesus…you’re Shining.

~Lisa

Day 9: So, what’s the {plan}?

As it turned out, she (Ruth) found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.  Ruth 2:3 niv

So, Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me.  Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here.  Stay here with my servant girls.  Watch the field where the men are harvesting and follow along after the girls.  I have told the men not to touch you.  And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.   Ruth 2:8 & 9 niv

So, what’s the {plan}?

That is the {plan}.  Naomi (teaching Ruth the ways of her people) and Boaz – they were each working the {plan}, which God set in place through the Mosaic Law* to care for the poor and widows.

That’s the {plan}.

field of wheat 31 days

I always want to know – what’s the {plan}?  Not because administration is my spiritual gift.  It’s not.  However, I am a first-born, responsible, feel-more-secure when I have structure and an outline kind of lady.  I often break the plan because there are not enough hours in a day to do everything I need and want to do.

Nevertheless, I like to know…  what’s the {plan}?

I love the multi-layered {plans} of God.  He has a good plan for us – His children.  He sets up a parameter within which we are able to participate in His plan for us.  While at the same time He, Sovereign God, is fulfilling His bigger plan set forth from before the foundation of the world.lamb grateful

The picture in my mind is a shepherd and his sheep.  The shepherd makes sure the sheep have a safe pasture in which to dwell, food to eat and clean water to drink.  The sheep have the responsibilities they are able to handle.  And the sheep do what they do – day in and day out.  Meanwhile, the Shepherd has a greater overarching plan with

Meanwhile, the Shepherd has a greater overarching plan with the far greater responsibility to ensure his sheep are safe from predators, remain healthy – free bugs, eating nutritious foliage, and drinking safe water, and on and on and on… The shepherd cares for his sheep and he is fulfilling his good plan to maintain a healthy and productive flock. (5 minutes)

Naomi and Ruth were both widows who were living in community and care for under the plan God set in place for them and many in similar circumstances.  Meanwhile, as each one – Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz – did the next thing they knew to do day by day, God was fulfilling His greater plan to send His Son, our true Redeemer.

Sometimes I want to know the bigger {plan}.  I can get distracted wondering what will happen to us?  Will there be another job for my husband?  Will he get well?  Should we sell our home?  Will I be alone?  Should I seek a higher paying job?

I can work myself into quite a teasy because I don’t have any of the answers to any of those bigger plan questions right now.  Each and every time as I fret and sob my way back to Jesus’ feet, He gently cups my chin and lifts my head to meet His eyes.  He reminds me – I am His sheep and He is my Shepherd.

 

Ponders:

All I need to do is my sheep stuff.  He’ll take care of the rest.  And this is where He leads me…  Psalm 37:1-7  There’s plenty here for me to take care of on a daily basis.  This is His plan for me today.  So, Lord, my Shepherd, remind me to do this sheep stuff today…and leave all the rest of the big plan to You… for You are able and I am not.  Thank You, Jesus-Shepherd, for loving me.  Amen.

Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

 

  • Does Psalm 37:1-7 help you to focus on what you can do today?  Do you see this as a {plan} you can fulfill?
  • What other Scripture do you find yourself going back to when you can’t figure out the bigger {plan}?
  • Would you share your own story of wanting to know the {plan}?  How did God meet your needs in the middle while He was fulfilling His bigger {plan} for your life and for His Kingdom?

 

* Leviticus 19:9, 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:19