My Heart’s Prayer for Year 27: birthday musings and some good words from Ruth
I’m joining today with the Five Minute Friday community of writers who write for 5 minutes about a one-word prompt.
Today’s writing prompt is KNOW.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been blessed to be tending through the book of Ruth with a group of ladies. My life has felt a bit transitional lately, and who knows transition and change better than Ruth?
If you don’t know, Ruth is the story of a widowed Moabite woman who, with great determination, leaves her home country of Moab behind to follow her also widowed mother-in-law back to her hometown of Bethlehem. Because both of their husbands have died, Naomi (the mother-in-law) and Ruth (the daughter-in-law) are without food, protection, or a way to make a living.
Once they arrive in Bethlehem, Ruth offers to go into the fields and glean behind the harvesters. Back in Bible time, the widowed and the poor were allowed to go behind those who were harvesting and pick up what was left behind.
It just so happens that the field Ruth chooses to glean from belongs to a man named Boaz. And when Boaz hears about Ruth’s steadfast loyalty to Naomi, he says to her,
“So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” (Ruth 2:8-9)
Ruth listened, continued to glean in Boaz’s field, and then was given a hot meal at the end of the day along with leftovers to take back to Naomi.
Upon her return home, Ruth is told again, this time by Naomi, not to glean from any other man’s field except for Boaz’s,
“Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” (Ruth 2:22)
I’ve probably read through this story a hundred times, but never did I pay much attention to how Ruth responded to Boaz and Naomi’s guidance. Her response is recorded in the following verse, Ruth 2:23, “So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.”
Ruth chose to listen, not once, but twice to the wisdom that I fully believe was spoken by God to Ruth through Boaz and Naomi.
Ruth could’ve easily shrugged off their wisdom and not heeded their warning. She could’ve chosen to disobey what God was asking of her and gone to glean in some of the other fields in the surrounding area.
What if those fields provided something that Boaz’s didn’t? What if she could glean more from someone else’s field? What if she could find better protection elsewhere?
Don’t we struggle to think like this sometimes?
God gives us fields and flowers to tend to in each season of our lives, but sometimes we struggle to focus on what’s right in front of us for fear of something better – something more.
The ultimate lie is that there is always something more than what God gives. But the truth is, that God always gives more than enough.
Ruth chose to cling to that truth. She chose to listen and obey, and her obedience would lead to her becoming one of the few women recorded in the Bible as being a direct descendent of Jesus.
If she had chosen discontentment over the voice of God, she could’ve missed out on the highest honor in history.
I’m writing this to you today on my 27th birthday. I had my quiet time this morning and as I sat down to tend through the second chapter of Ruth, I held a question for the Lord up to the light.
What will this year bring?
Instead of getting a direct answer, I felt the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to notice how well Ruth listened.
I want this next year of my life to reflect my love for God in my obedience to Him. In the hardest parts of this next year, because I’m sure there will be something – or a few things – that makes my heart break, I want to listen for His leading.
In the most joyous moments of this next year, I want to be obedient to His calling for my life.
And in all the in-between moments of 27, I want to be brave enough to believe the truth that God always provides more than enough.
I want to be brave enough to choose Him every single time and to tend to the things within and all around me that he’s given me to grow in each season.
I wish I could sit here this morning on my 27th birthday and tell you that I feel one year older and one year wiser. But “wiser” isn’t the word I would choose.
Open. Surrendered. Soft.
Those are some words I offer up today to describe the state of my heart in relation to my God. I may not know more than I did at 26, which really, was just yesterday.
But I do know that where God leads, I want to follow, and that is my heart’s prayer for year 27.