Taking Ruth’s Lead

Over the years, I have become fond of Ruth.  Her story has struck me in different ways, and recently I have been reflecting on her seemingly forward approach to Boaz.  What our eyes quickly read though, may have more significance than that first glance.

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment (wing in other translations) over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”
“The LORD bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask.”
Ruth 3: 1-11

Have you ever looked into the cultural significance of Ruth’ forwardness with Boaz? For a long time I misinterpreted Ruth going to visit Boaz, and found it almost scandalous. I didn’t know why people looked up to a woman who seemed to me to be immoral. After really reading more about the book of Ruth, I realized that culturally, Ruth was actually conducting herself above reproach. Her actions were a request for marriage, and by asking Boaz to spread the corner of his garment/wing over her, she was not being scandalous but asking for his protection. I have been thinking lately about how this is a beautiful reflection of the access we have to laying at Christ’s feet and asking for His love and protection.

Written March 17, 2016-  I am writing this from probably 30,000 ft in the air flying to Colorado for a business trip, and this is a big deal. When I stepped onto a plane last, in November, things didn’t go so well. It was a month and a half after the miscarriage along with a month and a half of numerous doctors’ appointments for Charlie, my husband pulling out his back, my 11- year-old Chihuahua Bella passing away unexpectedly, two business trips, and me not really having a ton of time to rest. So I leave Louisville, KY and have a great first flight, but the flight was delayed which didn’t leave me a lot of time to catch my connecting flight. When we landed I walked as fast as I could across the airport to make the next flight, and they were just finishing boarding. I take my seat and nervousness sets in. I was texting someone to keep my mind off the nerves and had to say goodbye, and my friend closes by saying “have a safe homecoming”. The doors closed on the plane, and the nervousness turned into panic. My thoughts were dear God I am going to meet Jesus today. I didn’t know what else to do, and I had never felt like this before, but I knew I couldn’t be on that plane as it took off. So I pushed the call button, told the flight attendant that I didn’t feel well and he asked me if I wanted to get off the plane. So I ended up getting off the plane wondering what the heck did I just do? Apparently I had just had my first panic attack.

Because these feelings were so foreign to me and at the suggestion of a couple friends, I ended up going to a few counseling sessions. I wanted to understand why this happened, and talk through the past couple months. Through counseling I realized that so much of what happened in the month and a half prior to the panic attack was out of my control, and for some reason me sitting in the window seat on that plane was the icing on my “feeling out of control cake”.

I knew I had another work trip coming up, and I was a little hesitant leading up to this trip. I didn’t know how I would react being on a plane again. I put plans in place to help curve the nerves (like purchasing an aisle seat opposed to my normal window selection…although as you would know it, I am sitting in a window seat because the person next to me sat in the wrong seat). I was praying for peace for weeks, but the nerves kept creeping in. Then I woke up yesterday morning to a text from a friend, one who I don’t really talk to often, who didn’t know about my plane incident, and didn’t know I would be flying again the next day.

The texts read. “Are you protective over Charlie? Good. Now you know how God feels about you…(now go write a blog).” I can’t make this stuff up! I was praying for peace for so long, but never did it cross my mind to pray that I also would feel God’s protection. It never crossed my mind that in the times that I was nervous about how I would react on the plane, that I should pray that I would feel protection from the One who is in control! So I added to my prayer for peace that I would feel God’s protection. I feel like God gave me a vision of 4 angels guarding the plane. “The God of angel armies is always by my side.” Oh what comfort it is to know this. This has probably been one of my most enjoyable flights as I sit here, write in peace in the presence of His protection as I gaze above the clouds on God’s beautiful earth as we descend into Denver.

April 1, 2016- I wish I could say that was the same experience I had when I flew home from Colorado. Luke 9:23 says to “take up your cross daily”. It is so easy to forget the daily part, but when we don’t take up our cross daily and ask for our daily bread fear can creep in really fast. I walked on the plane to fly home on March 19th and nervousness set in. Honestly, I hadn’t been praying for this flight because of the busyness of the days before me, and I was fine on the last flight right? Before my nerves got out of control, I talked to the flight attendant who suggested being rebooked on another flight that would leave in a few hours. That sounded perfect to me as it would give me time to regroup. Unfortunately, I had to fly out the next day because the next flight was full, but the flight again was peaceful, and enjoyable. It is really easy to forget to pray when things have gone well. It is really easy to give into fear. It is really easy to forget that the God who made the heavens and the earth is in control.

Beautiful one, when was the last time that you laid at the feet of Jesus and asked to feel His love and protection? Maybe you are letting fears set in, maybe you have insecurities creeping in, maybe you are forgetting who is indeed in control. Whatever has crept into you life, take time right now to lay at His feet and ask Him to cover you.

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Psalm 91

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