Well today dawned bright and sunny to the excitement of our whole family! We have about 14 inches of snow on the ground and the 44 degree, sunny weather was very welcome. Melting snow all around is wonderful! Warm weather means that this mommy and her kiddos get to go outside and play and take a walk after several weeks of being cooped up inside. (Can you say CABIN FEVER!!!)
So this morning, I decided to read the book of Ruth since my husband will be preaching a message on Ruth’s life this evening in church. And since I may not get to hear it, I figured I’d just go ahead and read the account from the Bible, and see what I could glean from her story. Did you catch the “glean” pun? ;) So I read the four chapters this morning, then went about my day, thinking little more of it. And this afternoon as I was shoveling all that snow, I began to think about it again. I learned some things from her life, and I pray that the observations I made may be a blessing to someone else also.
First, Ruth was willing to leave her comfort zone in order to minister to a person that she loved – her mother-in-law, Naomi. May I also point out that Naomi tried to convince Ruth to turn back and return to her home country of Moab. Naomi knew she had nothing to offer Ruth and that she was returning to unknown circumstances in Bethlehem Judah. She knew the famine was over, but not having a husband or anyone to provide for her, she would have had to means of support for herself or her two daughters-in-law. So, she tried to persuade her two daughters-in-law to return to Moab. Orpah heeds the admonition, and returns; but we see Ruth steadfastly clinging to her mother-in-law, and refusing to forsake her. Such faithfulness is rarely found! But what would this faithfulness mean for Ruth? Certainly it meant a blessing for Naomi, but for Ruth it meant the forsaking of all that she had ever known, and all that she called familiar. It meant the embracing of a new religion, a new culture, and a new family, all at once. And she was more than willing to do so, to show love to her mother-in-law.
The lesson here is, are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to minister to others? Sometimes, it may seem there are no benefits for us, but what a blessing we can be to someone else! Stepping out of our comfort zone may mean putting someone else’s needs before our own. It may mean that you are put on display. It may mean that you are left vulnerable to ridicule. It may also mean that risk of failure. But when we are truly following God’s leading, we can be sure He will always bless our efforts.
For my family, stepping out of our comfort zone has meant uprooting our family and traveling across the country to take the pastorate of a church in western PA. For my husband, a new job was involved, with new people and different surrounding. It was a big and sometimes scary move, but God has blessed us with such victories along the way! For Ruth, it meant of a forsaking of familiar things. For you, it might mean something completely different. But we should always be willing to serve the Lord, even when it means doing something that might get us out of our little bubble. Don’t be afraid to follow the Lord’s leading! My Father has a plan for our lives, and it is so much better than anything we could have dreamed up.