TEARS INTO TRIUMPH // MAY 11, 2022
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.
Ruth was a Moabite, a foreigner and outsider who became a young widow after the death of all the males in her family: her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. Instead of returning to her own family, Ruth chose to stay loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi, moving to Israel where she won over the love and protection of a wealthy relative, Boaz, who quickly noticed Ruth because of her character. Ultimately, Ruth's tears turn to triumph when she married Boaz, giving birth to King David's grandfather, Obed, who became the family line of Jesus. Her commitment to following and trusting God made all the difference in her life.
Ruth's story starts with the death of her husband, a life-changing circumstance that left her alone in a foreign country. There are times in our lives where we may think: my life today is not how I want to be living! Perhaps there are circumstances that have us feeling alone or like an outsider in our culture today. In seasons where we've experienced loss -- the loss of a job, a friendship, a loved one, a home -- can feel so devastating that it feels like all hope is lost. We can plunge into so much despair that even death can feel more welcome than whatever we're facing. Ruth certainly did not have a lot of hope becoming a young widow and making the choice to stick with her mother-in-law during a time when widows were vulnerable, and returning to her family seemed more likely to result in her remarrying. Yet Ruth chose to follow God by staying loyal to her mother-in-law, putting her whole life in God's hands. Her story resulted in remarrying and giving birth to King David's grandfather, which was in the line of Jesus.
Is God birthing something in your life today? Pregnancy can be uncomfortable, and childbirth is full of pain. Sometimes what we're praying for begins to happen, but we might not recognize it because it feels so uncomfortable like a pregnant woman trying to get sleep. Like giving birth, often the greatest experiences in life come from our deepest areas of pain. Maybe your progress feels like that, and the outfit you're wearing from long ago needs to be changed because it doesn't fit quite right anymore. Today, consider taking off your old outfit and asking God to give you a new wardrobe -- maybe new friendships, a new spouse, a new career, a new home or a new job. The new clothing God has for you will turn your tears into triumph. Your current reality is not your permanent reality because with God, your story today is not your story for tomorrow. He has the final say!