Sunday night my pastor started a study on the book of Ruth, and his sermon was a huge source of inspiration for this post.
Two of my favorite books, and characters, in the Bible are Ruth and Esther. I know it may seem cliche for a girl’s favorite Bible characters to be people like Ruth and Esther, but there’s a reason for their popularity among the girl population. I think a major reason is that they are so easy for us to relate to, and as a result, they are hugely inspiring.
Both are younger, single/widowed girls who get thrust into uncertain, scary circumstances with no apparent hope of a peaceful resolution. They both are forced to step out in faith, trusting their God to bring the best out of tragedy. And in both cases, their lives turn out to be better than they probably ever imagined.
But think about before things turned good in their lives.
Esther has been practically kidnapped by the king of Persia and forced to live in the palace for the rest of her life, whether or not she gets chosen to be queen. And heaven forbid, she actually does become queen of a pagan country alongside a pagan king, while hiding her true identity, eventually getting embroiled in a scheme that is intent on the death of her and millions of Jews.
Ruth suffers the loss of her husband, and his father and brother, and decides to leave her family and home, everything she’s ever known, in order to follow a new mother and seek out a new God. The new country that she comes to live in is struggling to survive again after this devastating famine, and she and Naomi have nothing in the way of comfort or any kind of certainty for their future.
Both scenarios are defined by unknowns and danger at every turn. I don’t think it was a simple matter of looking at their circumstances and saying, “Well, it doesn’t matter, because I know that my God has everything in control and He’s got the best yet in store for me.”
I know for sure that I wouldn’t have done that. It definitely wouldn’t have been my natural reaction. My natural reaction to scary uncertain circumstances is to let worry and fear invade my life and let my mind contemplate every possible negative scenario and every detail of everything that could go wrong. My natural tendency is not to trust God.
And I’m pretty sure that both Ruth and Esther were scared and tempted to ditch their faith in God, too. They both went through events that far surpass in depth and extent anything I’ve ever had to go through.
Yet, ultimately, they decided that trusting God was worth it, worth the risk rather than taking the easy way out and quitting.
They had no idea that their lives would play a crucial part in the continuation of their people and the eventual coming of the Messiah. They had no idea that the best of their lives was in the beginning stages, that the best was yet to come! And still, they chose to go ahead and attempt some impossible and daring things.
Esther decided that it was worth it to go ahead in her new place as queen of a pagan country and risk her life for her true people, Israel.
Ruth took the chance of following her mother-in-law and a new-found God into a foreign country and placing her reputation on the line in order to sustain her life with Naomi.
And both ended up putting something in motion that was far greater than anything they had originally intended.
Ruth and Esther both passionately pursued their callings in spite of known and unknown dangers and disappointments. They didn’t let the potential consequences stop them from doing what was right and letting God’s sovereignty work out the results.
I don’t know about you, but in my mind that is hard to do. Extremely difficult and against logic and human nature. Yet the stories of their lives are an incredible example and inspiration to me.
Can I go ahead in the face of possible dangers and disappointments and do what God has called me to do, even when things look really bad and chances of succeeding are practically nonexistent? Can I go ahead with life even in the midst of tragedy and sorrows?
These young women of the Bible tell me that I can, that it is indeed possible, and that not only can I trust God no matter what, but He’s also got the absolute best in store for me.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!