Beyond The Ache

She was young, beautiful and loving life until the storms came bringing her to her knees.

Now suddenly widowed and emotionally shell-shocked, Ruth is now facing hard truths and even harder choices. 

She hadn’t planned this.  She never dreamed it could happen to her.  

No woman ever does. Now what?

Should she stay with her mother-in-law Naomi, who has also lost her husband as well as both of her children, or return home alone? 

Seeing Naomi weep, Ruth “clung to her” (1:14) vowing never to leave her side. (1:16-18)

Two women enduring a pain few could fathom bound together by grief and loss.  

One morning Ruth decides to go pick grain and “As it turns out, she found herself working in the field belonging to Boaz” who was a close relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. (Ruth 2: 3) 

Coincidence? Absolutely not. Divinely orchestrated? No doubt!

And in this wheat field God picked up His pen and began to rewrite the stories of two devastated women. 

The day Ruth buried her husband, her heart and hopes perhaps accompanied him to the grave.

Yet in her darkest hour blinded by tears and crushed in grief God had already started restoring her dreams.

Envisioning a day without a broken heart seems unfathomable when you have one.  

Maybe you’ve buried a loved one or have suffered the loss of a marriage, friendship, promising relationship or ideal job. 

And now you ache – a silent, hiding-behind-the-smile, firmly embedded pain. 

So how do we move towards a promising tomorrow while buried beneath a painful today?  

Ruth perhaps wondered the same thing yet even in her agony she recognized value in Naomi’s wisdom and made a decision that forever changed her life.

Ruth chose to follow Naomi’s counsel concerning Boaz and from her obedience came her reward.

Where deep sorrow once lived now love bloomed.  

How do we obey God and “hold on unswervingly to the hope we profess” remembering “He who promised is faithful.” (Heb 10:23) in the midst of our suffering or when life is begging us to quit?

Ruth told Naomi “I will do whatever you say” (3:5) but I wonder if her pain was screaming “No! I simply can’t take another heartbreak” or What if I do and it fails or I am disappointed yet again?”  

What Ruth didn’t see God did long before. He united Boaz and Ruth long before their vows were ever spoken.

Little did Ruth know that in her loss God was already planning her gain.

In the aftermath of tragedy joy seems a million miles away.

Trusting God even with tears streaming down your face and fear gripping your heart is not easy. Your wounds are fresh and the scars feel permanent.

Trusting Him is an act of obedience which seems impossible in our painful moments.

In Luke we meet Jairus who had a life-altering choice to make.

He could either listen to reality that proclaimed his daughter deceased or he could listen to Christ who gently instructed him “don’t be afraid; just believe.” Luke 8:50

Like Ruth, Jairus chose obedience and witnessed one of the greatest miracles in Christ’s ministry.

Divine destiny brought about by a willingness to obedience produced a miraculous gain from a tragic loss.

Jairus’ obedience resulted in a resurrected daughter.

Ruth and Boaz’s love story resulted in a son named Obed who became the grandfather of David. 

Naomi now cradled the grandchild she thought she would never have.

The love Ruth thought ended in her husband’s death held her in his arms each night.

From loss came gain and from Ruth & Jairus’ obedience came the reward.

How? Because “All of God’s promises are Yes! in Christ?” 2 Cor 1:20

Sandra Hubbard

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