In The Waiting by MAYESO MAZENGERA
TIn the waiting
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.” 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.
There often seem to be seasons where an instruction is given and then heaven falls silent. Not to say God stops speaking but rather there is an instruction given and no further details or promises made. Boaz and Naomi both tell Ruth where to go and what to do. The only promise is her protection. There is no plan or promises for what will happen after the harvest season, but she does have a word for the season she is in. She spend the entire harvest hard at work in the field, living with her mother in law. Perhaps there was a temptation to figure out what would come next. Surely, she found herself wondering what would become of her when the harvest finished. What we do see, is what she does. She obeys. She works. Waiting is at times simply doing the last thing god told you to do. Waiting is not inactivity. It is the activity of obedience.
It does us good to remember that in this season she received provision and protection. In fact she received provision from fields she had never planted. She was watered and fed in a land where she had sown nothing and had no connections except an old woman she had followed. Yet she finds shelter, she finds grace. How many times, as we wait do we fail to see the much grace at work in our lives as we struggle for a goal or an answer in a particular area and so lose sight of all the ways god is showing us His grace, His provision, His covering? Ruth worked her garden.
When she is told of the next step, to approach Boaz, Boaz already has an idea of who she is. He has seen her be faithful. Has watched her show kindness to Naomi when she did not need to. Because it is so obvious her life was either at home or in the field, Boaz knows she has not been trying to find other men or solutions to her problems. He can trust her character, he has seen it consistently over the period of the harvest. When her next instruction came, there was an ease in her reception of her because of her earlier obedience. In the waiting, God is already at work and preparing us for our next season. It will not look like much at times. It will seem like we are just remaining faithful where there is no return but when divine acceleration occurs, when God opens that door, it is what was built in us in the waiting that sustains us. It is the habits, the relationships, the character built in us that makes us good stewards of our blessings and gives us the capacity to fully utilise the opportunities God brings our way. It may have been Joseph’s dream that opened the door but it was his management and administrative skills that he showed when in Potiphar’s house and in prison that allowed him to operate as an effective governor for Egypt. In one moment Ruth is obedient and approaches Boaz but it is her prior conduct and faithfulness that ultimately ensures her territory. It is no wonder that the very fields she was faithful in gleaning became her property upon her marriage to Boaz. Boaz’s silence after her request was him at work to redeem her. She had no need to be banging at his door and chasing him down, but she did trust him, as she had trusted the counsel of her mother in law. Many of us must learn the heart of Ruth. In her obedience she found she was cherished, held and whole.