Ruth 2:1 – 3 “Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.’ Naomi said to her, ‘Go ahead, my daughter.’ So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.”
Did you know that God is concerned about the poor? He is so concerned that He even made provisions for them. In Leviticus 23:22, He said, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” In this one law, God made sure the poor had food. He also made sure they worked for their food, for they had to go out and reap the corners. They also had to glean, or find what was left behind in the rest of the field. He knew that hard work is good for the soul, and gives a person a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Ruth and Naomi, as widows, had no way of providing for themselves. Ruth knew this, and she didn’t sit around and wait for someone to give her a hand-out. She took the initiative. She knew where she could find food, and so she decided to go and get it.
I think Ruth probably puts many of us to shame. We have become so accustomed to our fast-food society that we don’t even like to wait for things, much less do back-breaking labor in order to get them. We want to pull through a drive-thru and have our orders ready by the time we count out our change. We’ve adopted this mentality not only for food, but for just about everything we need. We want what we want. We want it the easy way. And we want it now.
But have you noticed that, for all the stuff we have so easily at our fingertips, there’s a real lack of satisfaction? When we don’t really work for something, we are robbed of the joy and fulfillment of knowing we earned it. God knew that within each of us there is an emptiness that far surpasses the hungry feeling in our bellies. He created us with a need to feel useful, to feel needed, to feel proud of a job well done.
Is there something you want or need? Follow Ruth’s example! Don’t sit around and wish and hope and pray for it to drop into your lap. Take some initiative, get off your comfy couch, and get to work! God will bless the person who works hard. He will provide – He always does. But many times, His provision for our needs comes in the form of our ability to work hard. When we earn our keep, He will see that we have what we need to keep both our bodies and our spirits healthy.
Dear Father, Please teach me to work hard for what I need.