This past Saturday, I shared at Kara's Purely Divine Boutique (as you all know). It was a great day, and although I was absolutely terrified and nervous when it came my time to start, I eventually got into a groove. One thing I shared was what I had recently realized about Ruth, and for those who didn't get to go, I wanted to write it here again.
After the last BFN, I was crushed. Disappointment just cannot begin to capture what I felt. There was hope, yes, because I've learned hope exists whether or not things turn out as we want, but there was also a deep sorrow. A few days later, I was praying one morning and very clearly heard God tell me to look at Ruth, because I was like Ruth. He revealed something about Ruth that -- even though I've probably read this book 100 times -- I hadn't noticed. Ruth and her husband Mahlon were married for 10 years, but they had no children. We know in a culture as theirs, the "choice" not to have children wasn't really one people made. I did a bit of research and, sure enough, commentators said that it was likely that Ruth was barren, for whatever reason.
The first chapter of Ruth begins with a bleak picture: the spiritual emptiness of Israel during the time of the Judges, a famine in Judah, the death of Naomi's husband and sons (who was Ruth's husband), and then to top it all off, the barrenness of the women as there were no children. We know the story, though. God provides for both Naomi and Ruth through their kinsman redeemer Boaz, and not only does Ruth marry Boaz and receive a loving husband, but they together have a son, Obed.
Of course, the point of the story isn't that God gave Ruth a son, though he certainly showed her grace through that. The point of the story is that that son, Obed, was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who was the father of Jesus. The story is about true salvation that goes beyond just meeting the needs here on earth. God, in his kindness, showed grace to Ruth, allowing her to know Him and be part of His kingdom and saving plan. That was the fullness that He offered Ruth and Naomi. He showed them abundant grace here on this earth, yes, but more importantly showed them abundant grace for eternity!
As God revealed that to me, He was reminding me of two things: First, he will give me a baby if that is what He wants. Nothing prevents Him from doing His perfect will, and it only takes one little baby to change a "barren" woman to a "fertile" woman. God is good and gracious because He is good and gracious, period, and He does good and gracious things. Second, even if I don't have a baby, my life is not empty, nor is my life purposeless. My life is full and purposeful because of God and His grace in allowing me to be part of his kingdom (which is just beginning now) and because of the blessed hope I have in what is to come. My life is not simply my time on earth; my life includes eternity!
You can imagine how the tears flowed once God showed me this truth! For me, and probably for many, one of my biggest fears is being useless and empty. God reminded me that in Him, that is a fear we need not have. He makes our lives full!