ruth

24: Too Far Gone

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Posted: June 5, 2018 by Ashley Ogle

Just after I was diagnosed with PCOS, the doctor told me I would never be able to have children without medical assistance. That report was a tough one to hear. It was around that time that I read this miraculous story about a family who lived in the Middle East. The story told about a father, mother, two sons, and two daughters in law. The setting took place in a city that was not their home. The city was over taken by a civil war and horrible famine. Tragically, the dad and two sons passed away. After their loss, the grieving women got word that their hometown just so happened to have food, so they decided to move back home.

Things were not looking good for these three women. In their dominant-male society, the women had no way to make a living for themselves. They had no land, no protection, and no support. Their worst nightmare came true, which left them feeling completely hopeless. In their culture, women who became widows often times would have to sell themselves in order to eat. They were at great risk of starvation and abuse. The future looked grim. The mother begged the girls to go their separate ways, knowing that they had a better chance of survival if they did. They were young and still had a chance of remarrying, but they would have no chance if they stayed with her.

One of the daughters decided to go back home in hopes of a better future. The other just so happened to stay, because she couldn’t imagine leaving her mother in law, knowing she had no way of surviving. Her mother in law was having a really tough time. She would spend her days and nights grieving her husband and two sons. She would scream and cry and claim that God had left her and was punishing her. She told the people of her hometown to not call her by her old name, because she was no longer that person. She was now abandoned by God. He was no longer listening. She believed He took everything she loved away from her, and left her to die. Her story was just too far gone from any saving He could do.

Ruth and Naomi
It just so happened, that the best friend I met my freshmen year of college would introduce me to her cousin 3 years later.

While she was at her all time lowest point, her daughter in law stayed by her side, comforted her and loved her. She began making a plan. She was determined to find a way to support them both, regardless of the fact that it was close to impossible. The daughter crafted a plan to go to a local farm and gather any left over food that the farmers left behind. She knew this was very risky.  The men working the farm would most likely hurl insults at her or even harm her, but she had no other choice. She worked tirelessly, even though she was grieving herself, to find enough food to feed her  and her mother in law.

As she was working, it just so happened that she caught the eye of the landowner. He had gotten word about the kindness and loyalty she had shown her mother in law, which was unheard of in their culture. In fact, it was a death sentence. The landowner watched over her and fed her for the next couple of nights.

Ruth and Naomi
It just so happens, Taylor and I would move during our battle with infertility closer to friends and family who have walked alongside us.

 

It just so happens that the name of the daughter in law was Ruth, and her mother in law was Naomi.

It just so happened that the farm she was collecting from that day would turn out to be more than just food for the night.

It just so happened that the landowner, whose name was Boaz, was actually kin to her late husband. Boaz was one of the registered guardian-redeemers, which is the one who has a legal obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty.

It just so happened that the exact time the women moved back home, from a land of famine, the annual barley festival was taking place. Boaz would be preparing the barley for the festival on the threshing floor.

It just so happened that Naomi encouraged Ruth to show her interest in Boaz the night he was working on the threshing floor.

It just so happens that the threshing floor symbolizes God’s judgment, which we later learn was full of grace, mercy, and redemption.

It just so happened that Boaz was not the closest to kin, so he had to ask the one closest if he wanted to redeem Ruth.

It just so happened that the one closest was able to redeem Ruth, but not Naomi, so he declined. Ruth’s love for Naomi paid off because….

It just so happened that Boaz was blessed enough to redeem them both, giving them a future they would have never imagined.

It just so happened that because of Ruth’s unending love towards Naomi, Naomi’s heart was renewed and she saw the goodness of God.

It just so happened that because of what Ruth did for Naomi, despite all odds, Ruth became famous in her hometown and the Lord became even more famous as well.

It just so happened that Ruth and Boaz had a baby boy, making Naomi a grandmother for the first time, and they named him Obed.

Obed had a baby boy and his name was Jesse.

Jesse had a baby boy, and his name was David.

David defeated a giant and became the most successful king of Israel who had a heart for the Lord. He redeemed God’s people.

David had sons who had sons who had more sons, and eventually our King Jesus was born from his line.

Jesus, the ultimate guardian-redeemer.

The redeemer who redeemed Ruth, Naomi, and David.

The redeemer who redeemed you and me.

But, the story doesn’t end there. Do you know who Boaz’s parents were? Salmon and Rahab. Not ringing a bell? Rahab was the prostitute who housed the spies of the Lord in the book of Joshua. That’s right. Boaz knew the legacy of redemption, because His mother was redeemed.

That is who our Redeemer is. He not only redeems the widow and the prostitute, He calls them family. He chose their line of mistakes and misfortunes and was born from it. The Lord redeemed all of the ones who thought they were just “too far gone,” and He made their stories famous for His glory.

That’s exactly what He will do with yours, if you follow Him like Ruth followed Naomi. No situation is too far gone, no doctor’s report too grim, no prayer too big for our Redeemer to redeem. Just when you’re ready to give up all hope like Naomi was, that’s exactly the time you should wait expectantly for Him. Wait upon Him to redeem your circumstance.

 

Regardless of any doctor’s report I am given, my story will never be “too far gone.”

Believing big,

 

 

 

 

Want to hear my entire story? Start at Blog Post 00, and follow along in order!

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