Ruth 4:13-22; 1 Chronicles2:9-55; 1 Chronicles 4:1-23; 1 Samuel 1:1-8
Christine Wilkens, EAC Director of Counseling (Azimuth Counseling )
When I read a chunk of scripture, I ask myself to look for a theme or uniting thread that runs through it. In this “chunk” I found 5 themes or threads of thought: where we come from – our family, our perceived value or worth, our perceived pain level, our receipt of blessings, and our ability to trust God. We humans weave the first 4 threads together to inform our identity and to help us feel significant. If we are honest, we all want a good family lineage, to be highly valued by others, to have little pain and lots of blessings. What many of us often fail to realize is that the last one- trust in God trumps every one of the first 4! A few individuals in today’s reading stood out to me because they illustrate how trust in God accomplishes this.
Ruth got a husband and had a son, Naomi received a daughter, “who is worth more than 7 sons” and a “redeemer guardian” grandson! Jabez, whose mother named him “I gave birth to him in pain,” intended to forever associate him with pain, instead trusts God and is forever associated with blessings. Hannah, ridiculed by her husband’s other wives (a topic for another day) and childless for many years, finally gives birth to a son, a prophet, who becomes a counselor to kings! Every one of them had problems in the family, limited worth, great pain and no obvious blessings. But each did continue to trust in God and to live honorably which gives them not only the blessings that were meaningful to them in their lives, but lasting significance as reminders of God’s care and love for those who trust in him.
Naomi, Ruth, Jabez and Hannah are ordinary, obedient and ordained. They each had characteristics that God desires we all develop: the ability to honestly express our thoughts, desires and emotions to Him, persistence in asking God to meet our needs, and consistent actions that demonstrate we are trusting Him to bless us, despite current circumstances. This combination demonstrates what I like to call “holy audacity!”
Lord, help me to live in holy audacity and help these threads of truth, in today’s reading, to be woven together in my life to create a beautiful tapestry of hope in You…and in You alone!