God’s hand works hope in the tough stuff
And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So Ruth told Naomi with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, who kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.” She also said to Ruth, “This man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”
“Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth” (Prov.12:27)
“The soul of the sluggard carves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent will be richly supplied” (Prov. 13:4)
In charting Naomi and Ruth’s tough-stuff journey, don’t overlook the role of Ruth’s faithful diligence. She’s a courageous go-getter — though a foreigner and perhaps vulnerable, she heads out to the edges of the crop fields midst the other home-town regulars to hand-glean grain so that she and Naomi can eat. She’s a hard worker. Boaz’ foreman tells him that gleaned “from early morning until now except for a short rest” (Ruth 2:7). She presumes nothing. She politely asks permission to glean and brings the gain of her work back to her mother-in-law.
Boaz notices all this, but so does God. Which means God is actively empowering the gain of these proverbs in her life. One can feel the puzzle pieces of God’s blessing interlocking, brining fresh joy into two lives that have been struggling in grief and loss. Ruth refuses to be paralyzed. She gets up, works hard, does what she can, while God’s hand releases an increasing flow of hope.
This day, as Ruth returns to share where she was and whom she met, the lights of life begin to glow again for Naomi. Wow! God is not her enemy supposed, but rather Someone who through Ruth’s diligence is rekindling hope. In ways she had not imagined, God appeared ready to restore and redeem…even a bitter widow. Let’s consider this well. Any of us can be God’s agent of hope, restoring joy to someone in tough straights, through initiative, hard work, and trust that God’s hand is in it all.