Today I thought we could glean some healing truths from the book of Ruth. Often when we’ve been unwell for a long time, it’s easy to begin to lose hope. When we don’t understand why we have to suffer so much or for so long, we can start to question the sovereignty of God, His plan, His ways and His power. This is one of the reasons I love the book of Ruth so much. We see how our magnificent God takes the most unqualified person; a poor, Moabitess widow, and places her in the genealogy of Christ! How encouraging for those of us who are walking through tough times, wondering if things could ever change. If this is how you feel right now, then I encourage you to spend time meditating on and thinking about the healing truths from the book of Ruth, it will bless you so much.
Her situation seemed unlikely to ever change. Everything in the natural screamed ‘failure…disqualified…no hope’. Ruth had already lost one husband with little hope of her ever finding another. She was living in a foreign land in a time when poverty and being a widow were shameful. She was still quite young, I’m sure she wanted to marry again and have a family. Ruth didn’t stick her head in the sand as though unaware of her situation. She knew in the natural she was the least eligible woman in the land. Ruth could have been angry, bitter and full of self-pity as she faced a lonely and miserable life. Perhaps like Ruth your situation is pretty hopeless. Have doctors told you you’re unable to have children? Do you think no-one will marry you because you’re living with an illness or a disability?
Ruth never concerned herself with the situation in the natural. Her eyes were on God alone. At the end of the story Ruth didn’t just marry anyone; she married the most eligible bachelor in the land and became part of the genealogy or Jesus. This was her double restoration. God had paid her back double for all the heartache and trouble she had gone through. I used to love the story of Ruth when I was unwell because it caused me to have hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Isn’t it a comfort to know our Father in heaven has your healing all in hand? He’s working behind the scenes to get you your breakthrough.
5 Healing Truths from the book of Ruth that will help you on your healing journey.
1.Even in the midst of suffering, develop a servant heart. It takes your eyes off yourself if nothing else, but it also pleases the Lord. It gives you a purpose that’s higher than yourself, a reason to keep on going. So you may be in pain but you can probably still do something, even if it’s something very small. Ruth did just that. She kept on doing her best, working the fields for Naomi. ‘So she went out and began to glean’ Ruth 2:3
2. Focus your eyes on the present and learn to love your life right now. Ruth didn’t continue to focus on the past. She never looked back at how amazing life used to be when she was married. It’s so easy for us to dwell on how life used to be before we became unwell; but this stops us moving forward into the incredible life God has in store and the healing that is to be had when we surrender all.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14
3. Ruth also didn’t focus on all her pain and suffering. You may be living with a painful illness but thinking about how bad it is will keep you in a place of discouragement and defeat. Constantly thinking about your situation will keep you a victim and it won’t be long before you spiral down into self-pity. I love how Ruth didn’t allow the label of ‘shame’ ruin her or damage her thinking. One of the dangers of a long term illness is that we can start to allow the illness to define us. Ruth walked above the storm and focused on God.
4. Believe that the best is yet to come. If the story of Ruth teaches us anything, it’s that God delights in turning our nightmare into something we never dreamed possible.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Boaz didn’t care that Ruth was ‘unqualified’. She was married before and was penniless but this didn’t bother him. He accepted her past and didn’t judge. The people God has placed in your future will too. Do you worry no-one will marry you or even employ you because you’re living with a health condition? God has all your worries in hand. The after effects of your suffering will be nothing but positive and good, your future will be better, not worse.
5. My final healing truth from the book of Ruth is to continue to believe that God is a good God. We praise, love and serve Him as he is worthy. This is exactly what Ruth did. Her faith in God was strong as she trusted in him completely. She knew He was all she needed.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When we look at the bigger picture of the story of Ruth, we can see God’s plan coming into fruition. There was a plan and a purpose that Ruth could never have worked out at the time. And so it is with your healing journey. No matter the obstacles and the disappointments, rest assured that God is working all things out in your favour.