the big picture

I am a lover of She Reads Truth. I love community. I love building relationships and people – even though I’m an introvert deep down to the depths of my soul. I do one on one, or very small groups much better than I do large parties or social events. And, at SRT, you have all of that centered around growing (flourishing) in the Word. Love it. ruth4

They have these book studies where they select a book/event of the Bible and just pour over it piece by piece for a couple of weeks. The last study was on Nehemiah. The current study is on Ruth. I love, love, luuuuuuuve the book of Ruth. I even bought the study pack. Initially because I’m a hopeful/less romantic and I love love love how the Ruth + Boaz story just brings me to my knees. But, after reading today’s verse selection (literally the first 5 verses of the book) – my love for this book, for God, for tragedy goes far beyond what I ever thought could be.

So, a few things…

Maybe it’s the middle child in me, but I’ve always been well aware of the fact that life does not revolve around me. I think naturally don’t take (some) things as personally or worry myself about (some) decisions that are made or circumstances of life because I’ve come to truly understand that my life, nor the lives of others, is not about me. Weave in the fact that as Christians, we know that our life is not our own, that we are here to serve and it just solidifies my early childhood lessons of my birth order, lol.
Reading today’s verses in addition to knowing the stories of Ruth, Job, David, the Shunammite woman, Paul, & other “heavy hitters” in the Bible, you recognize one common truth – they are not selfish people. They aren’t (always) making decisions centered around themselves. They are choosing a life that isn’t a fairytale, that isn’t often characterized by glitz, comfort, and ease. YES, there are times things worked very well for them, but it wasn’t because these gifts were their goals. They were benefits of obedience.

So, there’s that….. then there’s this:ruth3

 This family tree. Tragedy ultimately leads to the birth of one of the greatest, most influential men of the Bible, one who would pave the way for our Savior.

That is HUGE to me. Completely blew me away. I knew Jesse was David’s dad but not that he was the son of Obed who was the son of Ruth & Boaz. No clue. That simple fun fact caused me to thank God for poor Mahlon’s death! It’s sad he died but thank God he did, right?!

I can only imagine how broken Naomi was. How sad Ruth was. Although, deaths rock us to our cores, God had a plan for all of their lives. These husband’s deaths were necessary for the salvation of nations. It’s because of their part in Ruth & Naomi’s story that we are saved!

It’s difficult to desire to be spared from heartache. Even in knowing that in generations to come, the heartaches of now and your choice to trust God with all of the junk and joy that you would experience could give way to so much glory, it’s still difficult to volunteer to be driven to weariness, emptiness, and deep sadness. But, how can you say no?

The choosing of a King, the slaying of a giant, a relationship gone wrong with Saul, marriages and love affairs,  sin, redemption, Psalms written, and ultimately the birth of Jesus all came about because one family had to move due to a famine.
They had to pick up and leave everything they knew…. famine meant limited to no resources so they probably had no money. Idk about their animals or property – the book never tells about those things and because the Bible generally detailed and mentions everything that is taken when people move about – I think it’s okay to assume that it this family had nothing. They move, husband dies. Tragedy, difficultly, soul hurts. The sons marry – JOY!!!! Expanded family – new dreams and hopes for the future. But, ten years later, the sons die. This woman has lost everything she has and holds dear. Her home, her husband, her children. She is understandably broken. But, thank God her story, that story, doesn’t end there.
For the past few years Father’s Day has been a really difficult day for me because I have carried a lot of guilt about not being able to give my husband children. From my perspective, he’s missing out on such an amazing experience because of my endo (not my eggs, lol)… because our plans weren’t working out. I felt inadequate. I felt as if I wasn’t enough. And, so many other lies that centered my thoughts around myself versus the truths of God…………………… and, my swelling belly reminds me daily of God’s goodness, his mercies, and the perfect timing of his plans for our lives. Because of Him (and his plans!!) there is no more guilt & shame.

So, this morning, when I read these first five verses, I marvel over the family tree, I revisit/reread all that I know about King David, about the loyalty and humility of Ruth, and my heart just melts. It breaks at how God truly does love us even in the hardest of times. He has a plan for our lives that is bigger than we could imagine and that is meant to impact and benefit the lives of others, that is meant to bring generations worth of glory to Him. Our stories don’t end at deaths, heart breaks, or horrible losses. Our faith isn’t supposed to be shaken and our hearts hardened because things don’t go our way or because our dreams aren’t coming coming true. Or because it feels like things aren’t going to get better.

I wonder if Naomi realized that. I have to wonder if she looked back on her losses and realized that all things truly do work together for our good. That she was kept through it all. That her wisdom and faith in God was beneficial to her and her family.

God has already written our stories. They are stories of triumph. Of salvation. Of victory. Peace. Pain. Love. Tragedy. Failure. Contentment that all result in something more meaningful and tangible than we could ever imagine, ask, or think.

… here’s to our stories pointing to the glory of God.

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Comments

  1. I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog! So happy for what God is doing in you to show his mercy and grace for those who need a God sized miracle…..glad to be a fly on the wall!

    • Oh, I’m glad you did, too!! Thank you for reading!! I’m grateful for what he’s doing in our lives!!

  2. My wife and I are sitting here blown away….tears. God bless!

    • I love you guys….. You are so supportive and kind and loving. I appreciate you so very much!! Thank you!!

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