A mother said this once.
My mom has said this countless times to me over the years. Mothers and grandmothers, aunts and nannies whisper those two words, cajoling or even sternly warning with those words.
Yet I find them here in Ruth. Words that echo across our lives in profound ways if we but take a moment to revel in them, to see them as relevant to what we find ourselves in today, this week, this month, our lives.
Naomi’s put herself at Boaz’s feet, quite literally, to seek redemption for her and her mother-in-law. We think, “This is it!” and Boaz reveals that there’s another relative that can handle this for them, one closer than he. (If this isn’t a Hallmark Movie production waiting to happen, I’m not sure anything is)
Let’s change up the circumstances a bit and see if we can’t put ourselves in Ruth’s position. You feel called to something, bigger than yourself something, from God Himself as you see Him written across the calling in your heart, a drawing near. (or maybe it’s even a turning from something and you know it’s turning to God now) You go with obedience and a confident YES (or maybe it’s a quiet yes filled with concerns, questions and doubts), still you go.
You do the work, you dig in and while it is hard you begin to see small changes leading to a bigger revelation, to a God promise that is affirmed within. Then comes the crestfallen “wait” of the situation. It’s not where you thought it was headed, and now expectations are soon ushered out while disappointment and alternate scenarios are quickly rushing in.
Someone you trust, maybe a parent or a mentor, a close friend or confidante leans in and says, “Just wait. Sit still in it til we see how it shakes out.” And you want to smack them…or maybe that’s just me in my fleshyness. You’ve been moving along and now you’re told to sit still? To wait? It truly is the hardest part in all this. Not the starting, not the doing, the waiting. You are smack dab in the middle of it and you’ve had your story hit the pause, the buffering stage to load the remainder of it.
I don’t know how long it took for Boaz to find that relative, to orchestrate that meeting at the city gate and discuss the matters with him. In the story it seems like it happened that same day, and we just want to look at Ruth and say “Girl, it ain’t that hard.” But it might have been days, weeks or even months to locate this other man who would be her redemption and not this man she’d come empty to looking for filling. Our own waiting may be much longer than we anticipated, we may be seeing it as a hindrance to the work we began by saying yes to Him.
But we sit still. We wait to find out how things will go. For God will not rest until this story is finished, our redemption brought to fullness. Because here’s the thing…
God never leaves our story unfinished;
He never leaves us unredeemed.
While our expectations at God’s work has morphed the outcome a bit, we have to sit in the stillness of His redemption at work. The people He is pursuing and meeting in special places and times so that our story is His story, our work is His work, and our redemption is fully in Him.
So we sit in the stillness of a wait. Not looking to the what-ifs and should have beens, but to the God of finishes. The God of redemption. The God of our story. Because He will not rest until the matter is done. That’s a story worth being a part of. That’s a God worth saying yes to, no matter the plot twist or long pause.