Her back ached.
It had been hours since she began.
She refused to look up, the Sun constantly drove her to wipe her brow and feel the tickle of moister between her shoulder blades.
Her arms were complaining, there was a kink in her neck, but what bothered her most was the fear.
Questions and doubt buzzed her brain, more obnoxious than the flies that buzzed her face.
“What’s going to happen when harvest is over?”
Hunching her shoulders to better carry her burden, she stubbornly ignored this and caught up another shaft of grain.
“You’re not foolish enough to think this pitiful amount you’ve gleaned so far will provide until next harvest!”
She took a deep breath to steady herself.
“Moses said: When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”
She reached out and picked up more gleanings, being careful with each.
“Lord, thank You for the food You have provided for Naomi and myself. I trust You to prove for our future.”
Wiping her brow again, she continued on, diligent in the back breaking, monotony of gleaning the field.
Ruth 2:2 NKJV — So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:3 NKJV — Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
This is Ruth.
The Bible doesn’t tell us about how she felt.
It doesn’t describe the pain, the fear, or even the life shared with a woman who had lost all. (Ruth 1:21)
It simply tells us what Ruth did.
She diligently took up the only task she could do and she worked at it with a determination and gentleness which speaks volumes about her character.
She had experienced disappointment, no children were added to her though she was married.
Ruth 1:4 NKJV — Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
She had watched tragedy take it’s toll.
Ruth 1:5 NKJV — Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
This young woman had known incredible loss, but she didn’t allow it to rob her of integrity.
Her mind and heart belonged to her family and the God of the Hebrews.
Ruth 1:16 NKJV — But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
As a woman from Moab, she was risking a great deal. Moab and Israel were not on friendly terms.
Yet, she worked at the task she could do, the task she had to do and she did it well.
Ruth 2:7 NKJV — “And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”
It’s pretty difficult to imagine how exhausting this would be.
Ruth shows incredible faith in simply doing the task at hand.
And her story ends with God’s faithfulness to her.
Ruth 4:13 NKJV — So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Ruth 4:17 NKJV — Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the story of Ruth. Thank You for how she trusted in You with all her heart. Lord, please help me to be like her. To do what is difficult. To trust You with my future. To be steadfast in following You with my whole heart. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for what You did in Ruth’s day and what You are doing in mine. Blessed be Your name Jesus! Amen.