The Waiting Room
One of the desires the Lord has laid upon my heart is women's ministry - specifically women's bible study. I had the privilege of leading a small group of ladies at my church in a study on the book of Ruth. I chose the Gospel of Grace: A Study on the Book of Ruth, by the Well-Watered Women Co.
The Book of Ruth is one of my favorites of the Bible, and I've read it many times, but this time, through this book study, I learned so much more!
One area the study focused on was Grace in waiting...
Just to give a little background about the Book of Ruth...
In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband...
...But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God
my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to
me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem.
The Lord ordained Ruth's meeting with her kinsman redeemer, Boaz, in Bethlehem.
When Naomi learned that Ruth was gleaning in Boaz's field and realized he was a kinsman redeemer, after about a month's time, she instructed Ruth on what to do to initiate a marriage proposal to Boaz which involved her going to him at the threshing floor at nighttime where she uncovered his feet and lay there. Boaz was honored that Ruth would choose him, but realized that there was one other man who could redeem her and needed to speak with him first to see if he would redeem Ruth. When Ruth told Naomi all of this...
She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out,
for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
As I learned through this study of Ruth, the word wait used in this verse is "yashab" in Hebrew which means "to dwell, remain, sit and abide".
Typically, the word wait, to me anyway, conjures us feelings of stress... I think it is safe to say that nobody likes to wait...
Yet the meaning of the word wait, in the context of the verse above, evokes feelings of calmness and comfort to me - to dwell, to abide...
I hate waiting rooms in doctor's offices. The wait just builds up my anxiety to a fevered pitch! Maybe if they called it a "dwelling room", I might not feel so anxious. lol.
God has indeed built waiting into His creation, into His Eternal Plan!
We wait for each season... in nature and in life...
The leaves lie dormant and wait to burst forth...
The mom waits while her baby grows in the womb until the day of his or her birth when she finally meets her sweet babe face to face...
And in advanced age, we wait for the day that we will meet our Lord face to face...
We wait for a loved one to return from deployment; a child to return from college; a spouse to return from a business trip; we wait for a diagnosis; test results; or we wait for our wedding day; our vacation, our retirement. Every day, has its time of waiting. Some waiting is filled anxiety and some is filled with excitement.
I recently read a devotion by Anne Graham Lotz who stated that "God uses waiting to build our faith".
Knowing that, we should EXPECT that God is going to do above and beyond what we hoped or imagined in seasons of waiting. "Every bump in the road he will use to reveal to us His sovereignty in every circumstance of life".
He is building our faith to show Himself faithful.
In the story of Ruth, she did wait as her mother-in-law instructed trusting that the Lord would work out the situation as she had hoped. And indeed He did! The other kinsman redeemer chose to decline redeeming Ruth. Boaz and Ruth went on to be married and she conceived a child, Obed, the father of Jesse, the Father of David the line through which Jesus would ultimately come. Now that was worth the wait!!
Are you currently waiting on the Lord? Sit in His presence and make your dwelling place with Him and His faithful promises.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord forever.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
"You could do more in my waiting, than in my doing I could do."
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