Read His Words Before Ours!
Fear, anxiety, anger, sadness. These words describe the current emotions of many Americans. As I write, the world is experiencing a pandemic that has taken thousands of lives and impacted countless others.
Uncertainty pervades our country right now. Some are worried about contracting the virus or losing a loved one who is already medically compromised, while others are overwhelmed with financial concerns as their jobs are impacted. Businesses have closed and we have been instructed to “shelter-in-place” and to practice “social distancing” to try to stop the virus from spreading too quickly.
We have been given an end date for our stay at home order, and then watched as the date was extended. Disagreements abound as some are concerned about opening businesses too quickly, jeopardizing safety, while others are concerned about the effects of a broken economy.
Couples are postponing weddings. Graduations have been pushed back or moved online. Medical and dental procedures have been put on hold, and funerals are limited.
When will it be safe to go out? What will happen in the days to come? When will we be able to go back to the life we knew as normal? What are we to do in our uncertainty? How do we handle the waiting?
In the book of Ruth, we are introduced to two women who also faced uncertain times. As we’ve learned, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, were both widows. Upon their return to Bethlehem, Ruth couldn’t have known what the future held for her. But she trusted and respected Naomi, complying with Naomi’s suggestions for provision.
Naomi was aware of a kinsman-redeemer, a man named Boaz. A kinsman redeemer was a close family member who agreed to marry a widow, providing financially for her and carrying on the family name.
Naomi gave instructions to Ruth, to approach Boaz as kinsman redeemer and trust his noble character would move him to treat Ruth with honor.
Just as Ruth had a redeemer in Boaz, we, too, have a Redeemer.
His name is Jesus.
Since sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, we all are broken.
We experience pain, loss, and disappointment.
We cause the same and continue the cycle of brokenness.
Ultimately, we are separated from the Father by our sin.
We need someone who will meet us in our need, just as Boaz did Ruth, and redeem us, protecting our future. Jesus willingly came to earth, in the form of a man while fully God, to do just that.
He experienced pain, scorn, shame and rejection. And then, He went to the cross, to put to death sin and shame on our behalf. To pay our innumerable debts, once and for all.
He chose us. He chose to love us enough to buy our freedom and our security for eternity. He longs for us to come to Him, leaving behind our sin and shame and following Him as we journey on this earth. He knows there will be pain, but He promises to never leave or forsake us while we finish our days here before He welcomes us into eternity with Him!
What are you waiting for today? Is it a job or a promotion? Or maybe a husband? A child? Are you awaiting test results from a physician? Are you praying fervently for a family member to come to Jesus or to return from their wandering? Are you waiting to see the loved one you’ve been separated from during this time of uncertainty?
Paul admonishes us in Philippians to not be anxious for the future, but to pray and give our concerns to God with thanksgiving, allowing His peace to guard our hearts in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is near. In the waiting, He is near. Wait with hope, remembering He who calls us remains faithful to His promise that He will never leave us. Though our prayers may not always be answered the way we want or expect, we can trust that God is good, and one day we will see Him and realize He is the One we were waiting for all along!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!