Day 17: Women, to {grow} and bear good fruit, don’t you see we need each other?

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.  So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.  Ruth 3:5-6 niv

Afterwards, Naomi said to Ruth:  “How did it go, my daughter?”  Then (Ruth) told (Naomi) everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”  Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”  Ruth 3:16-18 niv

Women, don’t you see?  To grow and bear good fruit, we need each other.

As I peek into the window of Naomi’s house, I see two women who have chosen to intentionally follow provisions set forth in the Law of Moses to {grow} a family.  Naomi, firmly rooted, knew the way for Ruth to be redeemed by a near kinsman.  Boaz, was Naomi’s choice because of the kindness and honor he had shown to both Ruth and her entire family.  Over a longer period of time, I think Naomi had been lovingly teaching her daughter the way to set the redemption process in motion.grow tomatoes.png

Ruth listened.  She obeyed her mother’s instruction exactly.  After Ruth had done all she was told to do, Boaz gave further instructions, and she obeyed him as well.

The seeds of a new family had been sewn.  The soil was rich and the family name would continue with firm roots, grow and in time bear fruit.  Boaz promised, one way or another Ruth would be grafted into a new family.  Though to grow means to wait.

Well, I’m thinking specifically of the time I decided I wanted to grow tomatoes.  Visiting with my parents and checking out their new garden, my dad offered me three of his leftover tomato plants.  Though I had been unsuccessful at growing tomatoes in the past,  I decided to be more intentional and give it another go.

I mean, if I followed the directions, how hard could it be?  The easy part was following the directions.  I was purposeful this time.  I did my research, and I followed every detailed instruction.

The tomato plants were carefully planted in the sunshine, staked for potential growth support, and I watered them only once a week per the directions.  I couldn’t wait to walk out my door, pick and eat juicy red homegrown tomatoes.

So, what’s the hard part?  Waiting.pablo (87)

Every morning, for weeks,  I walked outside, inspected my little plants for any obvious growth, measured their growth, observed new leaves and inspected the plants for any signs of buds.  I watered the plants once weekly and pulled weeds from around the roots.  And I waited… waited…  waited some more…

Do you know how long it takes to grow tomatoes?  Yes, but it’s worth the wait because there’s not much better than stepping outside the door to pick juicy red tomatoes, wash and eat right off the vine!

I see a similar {grow}ing process in Ruth and Naomi.  They are family, closer than blood relatives, daughter and mother.  They are a beautiful example of discipleship.  Truly, I think if I could be invited into their home I would see iron sharpening iron.  Naomi diligently taking time to teach her daughter.  In the waiting, Naomi was preparing Ruth for her new home.  Yet, in the process of preparing, caring for and waiting for the right time to be fulfilled, Ruth was breathing encouragement, renewed vision, and purpose into her mother, Naomi.

Ponders:

As you read through Ruth chapter 3, what truth regarding growth stands out to you?

  • I remember the day I boldly proclaimed to the Lord, “I want you to {grow} me up!”  I think I wanted all the benefits of growing into His likeness, but I had no idea the difficult training course of becoming like Him.  I also didn’t factor in the “waiting” time involved.
    • Jesus said we would encounter trouble in this world, but not to worry because He has overcome death and defeated satan already.
    • Jesus also said that if we are going to follow Him we will have to deny ourselves, take up a cross and go where He leads.
    • Considering the cost, do you want to ask Jesus to {grow} you up into His image?
  • Is there a woman in your life who is mentoring you on the journey with Jesus?  And just as important have you extended your hand back to a woman coming along behind to mentor her?
    • It’s a beautiful picture of women – each extending a hand – one in front of another and alongside, linked up arm in arm, persevering, caring, loving and pointing toward Jesus as we run the race marked out for us.
  • If to {grow} means to wait, what do we need Holy Spirit to teach us about cultivating relationships, walking the Jesus journey together and anticipating the coming fruit?

Eyes on Jesus… you’re Shining!

~Lisa

 

 


One thought on “Day 17: Women, to {grow} and bear good fruit, don’t you see we need each other?

Comments are closed.