Strength and Trust

I know I have said this many times, but it needs to be repeated: Sometimes we become overwhelmed with the “stuff” of life: Bills; the demands of our children; jobs (or the lack of jobs); co-workers (or bosses); nasty phone calls from creditors; illness; shortages of food. You get the point. However, I want to assure you that even during the most difficult times, the Holy Spirit will give us strength–but only when we release all our needs to our Father’s hands and trust in His might. Honest.

Look at the Bible story of Ruth. She is a perfect example of this kind of trust. After her husband died, Ruth lived with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi was concerned about Ruth’s welfare and future, so she told Ruth to lie down at the feet of the wealthy Boaz and ask him to fulfill his obligation to her as her kinsman.

Now, I realize this sounds rather conniving and crude, but Boaz was a a very distant relative of her late husband (and he just so happened to be a prosperous wheat and grain farmer). So, that night, after the day’s winnowing was finished, Boaz laid down “at the end of the heap of corn” (Ruth 3:7) and pulled a blanket over himself. The next morning, he woke up a little shocked because he finds Ruth at his feet. Ruth 3:8 says, “In the middle of the night the man was startled and turned over, and––there was a woman lying at his feet!” I guess that would be quite a shock. (There was nothing immoral about Ruth’s presence there, by the way. Above, I provided a study which explains all of that.).

Anyway, Ruth said to him, “Spread your robe over your handmaid, because you are a redeeming kinsman” (Ruth 3:9). She was saying, in essence, “Will you take on the obligation of a relative—a “kinsman redeemer”—for me? Will you provide for me?” In other words, “Will you marry me?”

This wasn’t some manipulative scheme. Ruth and Naomi had done everything in divine order. We can be pretty confident on that, because Christ’s lineage came through Ruth. Then, when Ruth returned home, Naomi asked her, “Who are you? My daughter?” (3:16). She was asking, in other words, “Should I call you ‘engaged,’ Ruth? Or are you still ‘widowed,’ Ruth?”

Ruth told Naomi everything that had happened. Listen to Naomi’s godly advice: “My daughter, just stay where you are, until you learn how the matter comes out; for the man won’t rest unless he resolves the matter today” (Ruth 3:18). Naomi had prayed about the Ruth’s predicament, asking the Lord for direction, and He gave her His instructions. He reminded her of the law of the kinsman-redeemer (which was a type and foreshadowing of Christ). So Naomi was confident that she and Ruth had done their part. Now it was time to sit still and trust YHWH to do what He had promised. She was saying, “It’s all in the Lord’s hands now, Ruth. Just relax and be calm.”

That’s what we need to do. You have prayed and sought the Lord on your situation . . . He has given you direction, or maybe he hasn’t yet and you are waiting for his reply. It doesn’t matter. Just let me ask you? Have you indeed prayed? Are you confident and trusting that He will reply? Well then, you are ready for the next step: sit still and “see the salvation of the Lord.” He has everything under control!

In the case of Ruth and Naomi, a calm and peace settled over their house. The Hebrew word is, “Shalom.” It is not a human “wringing of hands.” Nobody was in a frenzy, biting fingernails and wondering, “Will God do it? When will it happen?” These two faithful women relaxed, sang and praised the Lord for His goodness—and so can you. Cast aside your worries and fear. Allow your Father to finish His work and fulfill His promise to you!


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