Do you ever feel out of your element? Have you been in a situation where you’ve felt unsettled, unsure, or unsuitable? Perhaps you have even felt like a stranger among friends. These emotions can be difficult to deal with at best and debilitating at worst.
Fortunately, the Bible is filled with illustrations we can follow to help us through the challenging times of life. Ruth is one such example. The author of this short book (only four chapters) is unknown, although some scholars suggest it was Samuel. The story is from the turbulent period of the judges, a time of oppression and apostasy, but it was written much later than that, perhaps as much as two or three hundred years later.
Most of us are familiar with Ruth’s story. Her people, the Moabites, were descended from Lot’s relationship with his eldest daughter. The Moabite’s history with the Israelites was contentious, to say the least, and it was only because of dire straits, that Elimelech moved his family from Bethlehem to Moab. Fortunately for this Jewish man, his son, Chilion, married Ruth, a woman who would sever relations with her nation and her religion to follow the one, true God.
As I studied Ruth as research for my debut novella, Love’s Harvest, I realized she had much to teach me:
Because she was a foreigner and childless widow, Ruth would have been considered a nobody, a person of no value, yet God included her in the lineage of Christ. Sometimes God’s plans are unfathomable, but hold fast to him, and he will hold fast to you.”
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare ad not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
Linda Shenton Matchett
With a BA in Psychology and Masters in Human Resource Management, Linda Matchett has had a wide and varied career as a crisis counselor, HR generalist, B&B owner and youth center director. She is currently the Front of House, Snackbar & Catering Manager at Brewster Academy. A journalist and blogger, she has written for numerous online and print publications. An author of Christian contemporary and historical fiction, Linda is also a a motivational speaker. Available topics include Life on the (WWII) Home Front, Wartime Baking, Women in the (WWII) Workforce, The Writer’s Life, God in the Workplace, The Proverbs 31 Gal: The Woman We Love to Hate, and Ruth: Lessons from a Foreigner. Linda is a member of First Baptist Church Wolfeboro where she sings in the choir and serves as Church Treasurer and a member of the Fellowship Team.
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