Sometimes we bemoan and cry out because we don’t believe that our portion is enough. We look at what others have and think, “why can’t I have that?”.
The other day I was leaving the store, pushing our shopping cart out to my husband’s car which is more than enough but is older. Next to me was a lady loading her groceries into an extremely shiny luxury vehicle with DVD screens in the headrests and beautiful tan leather. “What did she do to afford that?” I wondered in my head. “How can I get there?”, was my next thought.
Then I opened the door to my husbands car and our youngest bounded in, happy as a clam. It hit me hard – I have what I need. My husband’s car is faithful. It has cold air, drives well, hasn’t broken down and most importantly is paid off because of his hard work. I have all I need and I’m so grateful for it. It gets my family from A to B no matter if there’s fighting kids packed into the backseat or if the happiest little girl is sitting in her booster seat alone.
While studying the book of Ruth God showed me a truth that I wanted to share with you today.
Many people think that the book of Ruth is in the bible because it shows the lineage of Jesus. Others think that Ruth is in the bible because it shows that faithfulness is rewarded. Yes to both. But there’s so much more that we can learn about it.
If you don’t know the story of Ruth I’ll give you a short introduction. Naomi had a daughter-in-law named Ruth. Naomi’s husband and sons died leaving her and her daughter-in-laws as widows in a time when women had no hope without men to provide. Ruth chose to follow Naomi back to her homeland knowing that she would likely be destitute the rest of her life.
Now here’s where our story today comes into play:
Ruth went into the fields to glean the field during the harvest. Gleaning means that widows, orphans and the poor were allowed to pick crops from the corners of the field on anything that had fallen or been tossed on the ground. They were given the pick of the the leftovers, the unwanted portions, the second best.
Can you imagine walking into a large field at the beginning of a harvest? Everything is ripe to be picked. The wheat is bursting in it’s golden shaft. It must be an awe inspiring sight to the owner of that field. They know that their harvest is plentiful and that they are going to reap a lot of food and money from that field.
Now imagine being a hungry weary widow. You’ve just traveled a long way across valleys and mountains to arrive in a land that you don’t know. You don’t know how you’re going to make it for the long term, you just know that you and your mother-in-law need to survive today.
How must it look from her eyes?
She sees what she can’t have. Does she feel rejected by God? Does she feel like God has forsaken her because He gave so much to another but has left her hungry? She is walking in to this field as a beggar, hoping to bring enough home to keep them alive for a few days. How must she feel?
So many times we stand in the same modern day situation and wonder where God is and why we’re struggling when others seem to be abounding in wealth.
How can that person be driving that luxury vehicle when we are just hoping the money is there for our payment the next month. How can someone be buying that million dollar home when you’re praying daily just to keep your AC unit running throughout the summer. Why is that person always wearing brand new clothes when you’re hoping that the little holes in yours can’t be seen?
We look at the fields and see what we can’t have rather than what we are being given.
The book of Ruth goes on to say that Ruth worked hard gleaning the field all day. She didn’t complain or slack off because she wouldn’t get enough to make it worth her time. She kept going and even humbled herself before the owner of the field, to thank him for what he was giving to her.
She would have a small portion but she was thankful for what she did have. She didn’t let the hardness of her situation deter her.
No the field wasn’t hers. She wasn’t wealthy and at that point never expected to be anything more than hopefully able to live.
Let that sink in. She was there to provide for her and her mother-in-law. Any amount whether it was enough for one day or several, she was there and content.
At the end of the day it says that Ruth took home the equivalent of 8 gallons of wheat!
8 gallons that would provide for a long time for her and her mother-in-law. It wasn’t expected or owed to her but God gave it to her. God provided all she needed and then some.
Because of her commitment and determination she was also told to come back to the same fields the next day.
We need to stop looking at the big picture of what we can’t have or haven’t been given and look at the smaller picture of the abundance that we are blessed with on a daily basis.
Often we think we need something but in truth it’s not our need, it’s our want. God provides for our needs without fail. You may think that He hasn’t given you a field, and maybe He hasn’t but what has He given you? How many gallons of blessings have you been given?
Chances are that when you stop looking at the huge field that belongs to someone else, and turn your eyes to the one that created that wheat and tells it grow, you’ll find that you already have all you need.
Ruth is faithful. Her story will continue to her marriage to the owner of the field and through that marriage will become the grandmother to King David. So yes, she is in the lineage of Jesus. But most importantly she was thankful for the small amounts and for the lesser opportunities. She worked hard without promise of better and was rewarded for it.
Find your little blessings today and thank God for your provisions no matter the size.
Stand firm my friends. Don’t let want of more deter you in your faith. Be content where you are and thank God for every need that He covers because He covers all of them, faithfully and without fail.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Proverbs 37:25