The story of Ruth is not just one of the most beautiful stories in the bible, but might be one of the most beautiful stories in all the world.
Ruth is daughter-in-law to Naomi. Both Ruth and Naomi (along with another daughter-in-law) have lost their husbands. Naomi is living is a foreign land, so she sets off with Ruth toward Israel. On the way, Naomi stops to have this conversation.
“Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more. -Ruth 1:15-18 (NLT)
Ruth was called.
Ruth was called to a specific person – Naomi. That call led her to the people of Israel and the family of Boaz. The call gave us the great King David. Ruth’s call meant the freedom of the Israelite people (at the expense of her own people). The call led to the building of the Temple. Her call brought us Jesus.
The call of God on Ruth’s life changed the world.
You are called.
Be encouraged by the story of Ruth.
There is no reason to believe Ruth understood following Naomi had any world altering impact. Ruth was a poor woman clinging to another poor woman. In their culture, Ruth and Naomi were closer to dirt than to royalty.
Do you know your calling? If not, I recommend starting with the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Miller takes you on his journey of figuring out his life’s purpose or calling.
Calling + Gifts = Success
Just as God does, though, He doesn’t leave Ruth to her own devises in fulfilling this call. God bestows gifts on Ruth – specifically the gifts of service and faith. She served Naomi. Ruth blindly trusts Naomi and God.
It reminds me of the scene in C.S. Lewis’ famous book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Pevensie children meet Father Christmas in the midst of being called into the battle against the White Witch. When Father Christmas arrives, he has specific gifts for each of the party. These gifts are used in the coming battles and throughout the Pevensie’s visits to Narnia.
The gifts were specific to the call of kings and queens on their lives, even though they were still far from fulfilling this calling.
God has called you, but He doesn’t call you without giving you the exact right gifts for your calling. The gift He has given you is perfect for you and your call. Your job is to accept, perfect and use these gifts to pursue the call on your life.
You may know your calling, but do you know your gifts? If you’re interested, I highly recommend taking a simple and free test to help you determine your spiritual gifts. It’s a simple step toward changing the world.
And this is what you are called to do.