The Girl’s Still Got It: Chapter 5

Bible Study Blog "The Girl's Still Got It"

Chapter Five: “Out Standing in Her Field” Ruth 2:1-7

Time for a new month, a new chapter, and a new season in the life of Naomi and Ruth as they arrive in Bethlehem at the start of the harvest. Can you feel that sense of hope stirring in the air?

Two men are introduced, the righteous Boaz and an observant foreman, while the God of Israel remains unseen but ever present. Let’s watch him work…

1. a. Elizabeth Ruth Obbard wrote, “Work is the way [Ruth] makes her love visible.” How might your own efforts as a working woman—paid or unpaid, in or out of your home—make your love visible to others?
Whether I’m at home quietly writing on my computer or on the road speaking to a large audience, my prayer is always the same: “Lord, may your love and grace fill the hearts of the sisters I serve.” That’s it.

I’m convinced God’s love is all we have to share, and really, all we need to share, in any workplace. I trust the Holy Spirit to handle the heavy lifting. My job is to love and not judge. To hug and not shrink back. To live out Colossians 3:23-24: ”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Making love visible is the trickier part. Ruth gleaned in the field—hot, sweaty, gritty work—then brought home armloads of grain. I type words on the screen and speak words into a microphone. Not only is it not hard labor; I also have nothing tangible to show for it. Even the books I write have value only if a woman invests her time and energy into reading them. Otherwise they are nothing more than paper and ink.

Oh dear. Kinda wish I hadn’t thought through all that! Maybe your work is similar—more mental and emotional than physical. Still, if we pour ourselves into our work with the kind of passion and commitment that can only come from God, if we don’t give up when the hour is late and the body is weary, if we care more about helping others than earning their applause, that invisible love might become visible after all.

Who is watching, and how have they specifically recognized your labors?
Actually, everybody watches us as we work: family and friends, coworkers and customers, sales clerks and strangers. Most of all, God sees our labors, even if we’re sitting alone in a cubicle. John Wooden is often credited as saying, ‘The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Well, the One whose opinion truly matters is always watching, and for a good reason: to help us. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

1. b. Read Psalm 90:17 and Proverbs 31:17 as you picture Ruth gleaning in the field. What truth do you find in these verses that speaks to Ruth’s situation? And how might that truth address your current situation?
These verses really do describe our Ruth. She wanted to work for someone in whose eyes she would find favor. And God clearly established the work of her hands, giving her the strength and stamina to work all the long day. If he did so for Ruth, he can and will do the same for us. Why do I doubt instead of trust, when I’m staring at the screen as midnight draws near, fearing the words will never come? Seek God’s favor alone, Liz. Keep holding your hands over the keyboard. Keep praying. The words will come. Trust him.

I’m eager to hear how you make your love visible as you work. Hope you’ll post your comments on that at the end of the blog.

Artwork of Ruth Gleaning

2. a. What does the word “providence” mean to you? Write out your own definition, shaped by the wisdom you find in these verses: Psalm 66:5; Psalm 147:5; Lamentations 3:37; Romans 11:36.
Hands up if you Googled the definition first. Me too. But the dictionary doesn’t really capture the meaning of providence like God’s Word does.

According to these verses, the Lord does awesome works on our behalf (Psalm 66:5), he is great, mighty, powerful, and knows everything (Psalm 147:5), he decides all that happens (Lamentations 3:37), and everything came into existence from him, through him, and to him (Romans 11:36). No wonder he alone deserves to be glorified! And no wonder the word “Providence” is often capitalized. It’s a God word.

2. b. God is often described as omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Look up all three words in a dictionary, and jot down the meanings.
Okay, now we’re allowed to reach for our Merriam-Webster.
Omniscient means “having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight; possessed of universal or complete knowledge.” Right. See above verses.
Omnipotent means “almighty, having virtually unlimited authority or influence.” Yup. See above verses.
Omnipresent means “present in all places at all times.“ We only need to drop down a couple of verses in Psalm 66 to find “his eyes watch the nations” (Psalm 66:7). He really is everywhere at once.

Which word do you find the most comforting? If you find any of them discomforting, why might that be the case?
I cherish the thought of God being omnipresent, because that means he is with me when I need him most, and he is also with you when you need him most—which is, of course, all the time. I mean, when don’t we need God?

Discomforting? Our omniscient God knows what we’re going to do and why—has always known these things, even before we first opened our eyes to greet the world. So, he knew in advance when I would turn away from him in my late teens. Could an omnipotent God have stopped me? Oh, yes. But he knew that, in order for me to fully understand his love, I would need to sink into a murky world where love had been replaced with pain. Only there, in that darkness, could I finally see the light of his truth and his love, and know the difference.

2. c. Now read Psalm 139:1–18. Choose a verse in that beloved passage that exemplifies each omni-word, then note how God demonstrated those elements of his character in Ruth’s or in Naomi’s life.
It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Psalms, stating in no uncertain terms the Sovereignty of the Lord. Choosing which verses fit each omni-word is the easy part. Fully grasping the power and majesty of our Almighty God could take a lifetime!
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:2)
This reminds me of Naomi in far-off Moab. God still knew her every move, her every thought.
“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5)
Now I’m picturing Ruth, cleaving to Naomi. Ruth was unwanted, when it came to going forward, yet she was unwilling to turn back. God’s gentle hand held Ruth in place—for her sake, for Naomi’s sake—until love broke through, and Ruth proclaimed a vow that changed everything.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
Here’s Naomi again, realizing she might leave the Promised Land, but she cannot escape from the One who made such a promise to his people and kept it.
“When I awake, I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:18)
This brings to mind Ruth on that first morning when she rose to glean, aware of God’s leading as she sought a righteous landowner with loving-kindness in his eyes.

3. a. Jesus used a harvest analogy to teach his disciples. Read Matthew 9:35–38. What harvest is Jesus referring to?
He’s talking about the hearts, minds, and souls of those people who were ready for the Lord of the harvest to gather them to himself.

Whom does he have in mind to work the fields? And how will that be accomplished?
The workers may be few, but our omni-everything God surely deems the number sufficient. Those workers—soul-winners, we used to call them—must be sent by the Lord. They don’t go on their own steam or according to their own timing. They go when they are sent.

What ripe fields do you see around you? In keeping with Jesus’s teaching, what’s the next step you should take?
Oh, Father, I see nothing but fields that are ripe and ready to harvest! Our world has never needed your more desperately than it does now. Give me the courage to say with Isaiah, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Gulp.

3. b. Then in 2 Corinthians 9:10–11 we find Paul using a harvest theme to encourage generosity and gratitude. According to the passage, who supplies not only the seed but also the harvest?
Already, Lord, you’ve provided that needed courage, because we know that you supply both the seed and the harvest. It’s your work, not mine, not ours. What a relief!

And what’s the point of being fed, of being blessed?
To bless others generously, “on every occasion,” and in doing so honor the Lord, so that he is the One people will praise, and not us.

What prompts you to be generous?
We’re right back to the first question about God’s love being our prime motivator. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

And how can you be sure God gets the glory rather than you?
Hmm. When I finish speaking, I usually turn away from the audience and toward the Cross, wanting all the applause to go to the Lord. But last weekend in Ohio, when I turned around and lifted my hands in praise, the big screen above me said, “We love you, Liz!” Yikes! Instead of re-directing their applause, I appeared to be basking in it! I practically ran off the stage, though by this time, everyone was laughing, including me.

As we wind things up this week, this verse rings in my heart, especially in light of our omni-words: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11). As I said, that truth is still sinking in. It’s just so BIG. Omni, omni, omni.

Now it’s your turn, my friend. What’s the most memorable truth you’ve learned from Ruth 2:1–7 this week? Take a moment to share it here. You’ll not only bless me and every woman who reads it: you’ll bless the Lord above all.

Your sister, Liz

54 Responses to The Girl’s Still Got It: Chapter 5

  1. Betsy C. October 3, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Wow, this week was so powerful! The talk about the omniscient God is so heartwarming. He knows it all! That helps me daily in so many ways! And yes, Providence to me always needs to start with a capital letter. He is my Provider.

  2. Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Alone at my computer last evening I wept all through Psalm 139. These are truths I’ve known for many years, but they washed over me afresh. Amazing! Thanks for studying with us, Betsy.

  3. Theresa October 3, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    This past week has been filled with busy activity as I get ready for our Women’s retreat. I was sending out reminder e-mails to those who are coming and I signed them “Serving Him, Theresa”. I am not “tooting my own horn” for a “cyber pat on the back”, but I have the greatest joy in knowing that I have the awesome privilege in serving my Lord and Savior through serving others.
    As I read through the study, it stuck out to me how deep of love that Ruth must of had for Naomi. It is a true serving love. A love that gives without demanding a return. It is a love that is willing to work hard to take care of another.
    I want that same kind of love to grow in me and the only way it can is through selfless service.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      It IS a privilege to serve him, Theresa! A privilege that every believer has been given, though some have yet to discover that exciting fact. To serve in a selfless way is the real challenge, isn’t it? To serve without needing to be noticed or praised or acknowledged. I’d say, “We’re working on it, Lord.” Except HE is the one working on us! Blessings on your retreat, a genuine act of selfless service.

      • Theresa Rypstra October 3, 2012 at 11:57 am #

        Totally true, Liz! The more we serve, the more I serve, the more I realize how much I need His help. And in the serving, I am being refined!
        Thanks for the blog!

  4. Nancy S October 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I’ve so enjoyed catching up with your study. I ordered my book late so read 4 chapters in the last 1 1/2 weeks. What strikes me is Ruth’s selfless devotion to Naomi. Ruth was now a stranger, immigrant in this country, with seemingly no hope of marrying again. She basically exchanged places of identity with Naomi. Naomi had been the foreigner, now Ruth was. An example of the exchanged life, of submission, choosing Naomi’s God. Then seeing how God, in His providence is working it all out, in lovingkindness for Ruth and Naomi.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Thanks for catching up, Nancy. I LOVE the idea of the “exchanged life.” Very powerful. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll share next week!

    • Tina W. October 4, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Nancy- I love your thought about Ruth and Naomi exchanging places of identity. I had never thought about that before. Have a blessed day sister!

  5. Agnes Butler October 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Yes, it is amazing to watch God at work! I just sent a message to a Nurse I worked with prior to her car wreck that caused her to be a paraplegic…We were both preachers wives and our supervisor constantly compared us to point out her lack of ministerial skills….well, God changed all that when she came to know him personally. She is now a lay speaker, teacher, writing a book using a stick and computer, and has a very far reaching witness for God! HE IS SO GOOD!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      “Writing a book using a stick and computer”?? Please, Lord, may I never complain about a key sticking on my keyboard or slow download times! What a thrilling testimony to God’s faithfulness and hers. I can only imagine all the hearts she will reach! Thanks for sharing, Agnes.

  6. Jo Ann October 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I want to serve my family, my church, my friends, my neighbors, etc., etc. etc. But I have to stop and ask why am I doing this – to serve or to be noticed? I guess the human part wants people to say WOW look what she did. I have to remind myself that it’s not me but the Lord I’m doing this for. And the joy of knowing that is such a blessing for me. Knowing that I’m doing what he has asked of me.
    He is always there watching and encouraging me. I just need to realize that my joy comes in the giving of myself to others.
    Ruth seemed to have such a quiet nature. So giving and undemanding of others.
    Maybe the “squeeky wheel” doesn’t get attention!! LOL
    God’s got it!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Jo Ann, you are so wise to stop and ask, “What’s my motive in serving?” And you are spot on when you say that God’s encouragement is enough, and real joy comes in serving others. As to Ruth’s quiet nature, it’s clear she is unafraid to speak out when necessary (“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you”). But she’s definitely not a squeaky wheel like our ever-whining Naomi! Still, God loved them both. Whew.

  7. kathy October 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Hey Chicks! how are you all? peachy here! Ok – Let’s talk serving! I love serving – if it is a cup of tea to a friend that needs a shoulder to cry on. Or maybe someone visiting from another nation that has come to dinner, it may be a stranger needing an extra hand as she tackles the grocery store with four little ones in tow – I WANT to be the one to reach out and grab her hand. I think I was born for this and I love it! Sometimes I trip over my girlfriends trying to serve them before they can serve me (hehehe). God is good! It’s an attitude and I am just a servant -pure hearted servant. I totally get this one. I count it a privilege and know that it is the gift the Lord has given me and I totally receive this gift of serving. Bless you all this week!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Kathy, it is SO FUN to see a woman who really embraces her spiritual gift and runs with it. Thrilling, really. On behalf of those of us who do NOT have the gift of serving, who are always worried about doing the wrong thing, and end up doing nothing, while the wonderful Kathys of this world come to the rescue, we salute you! We’re all called to serve, but that serving might take a different form than the practical, helpful things you do with joy and abandon. “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11 That’s YOU, Kathy!

      • kathy October 4, 2012 at 11:50 am #

        your encouragement bring me to tears! Thank you Liz for the comfort you speak to my heart. I love this Bible Study and the opportunity to chat with you. I know you are very busy and I just want to thank you for doing this. It has so ministered to me! Bless you this weekend as you share _ I will be praying for you.

  8. Dr. Laurel Shaler October 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Hello! I work a lot, and would like to ask for prayer to help me prioritize and sort out what I should be doing versus what I should let go. I want to do what the Lord has called me to do. His established, mighty hand WILL lead me in the right direction if I focus on Him. After all, he is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-everywhere(!). There are times I want to hide from Him because of my sin, but it actually helps motivate me to come to Him with a repentant heart knowing He already knows…and still loves me anyway. God supplies all of my needs. He also calls me to meet the needs of others. There is nothing greater we can share with others than Christ’s love. I am thankful for grace, and I want to share that truth with others.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Honored to pray for that work / life balance, Laurel. A huge concern at the Higgs house too. It’s not a matter of choosing good things over bad, which is fairly easy, but of choosing best things over merely good things. Help, Lord. Show us what is best, and give us the courage to leave the rest.

      • carol October 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        I needed to hear that comment about choosing the best. God has been working in my life to refine me in areas of trust. He is the best and always wants the best for me and all of you.

  9. Mary Ann October 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    We (husband and I) had drifted away from church and God for a few years because of working on Sundays and just physically exhausted. It’s something I never thought I’d ever do. It’s like walking in a desert with no water, dry, grouchy, self centered, me me me… without the living water to drink from. BUT reading these passages it just reminded me of how Omnipresent God is. I always felt the tug, I always knew that He was near and understood all within me, but I just wasn’t where I should of been in my walk with Him.
    I’m so thankful that He welcomes us back with open arms, and dwells within us.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 4, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      So appreciate your honesty, Mary Ann. Your description of the desert is vivid…and heartbreaking. Many of us know that dry and thirsty land. It IS amazing to realize God is with us in those places and embraces us with open arms and living water the moment we cry out, “I need you, Lord!”

  10. Brandi Luiz October 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    God’s timing is impeccable! Always! He is so good. Work has been crazy for me lately. I am filling in for someone on vacation and taking on extra responsibilities; yet, God in his infinite wisdom knew we would be studying this section at this time to bring me back to why I do what I do! I am a nurse, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to take care of people, to ease their hurt… physically, emotionally, spiritually. My “job” is given to me by GOD to be HIS hands and feet when they need it most. I am one of only a few outspoken Born Again Believers at work and I so feel that my job is my mission field. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Thank you for reminding me today of what I am doing and why. Funny thing is I often say to my husband before he heads out to work… “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… working for the LORD, not for man” because he is so frustrated with his job. Love how God wraps all our “stuff” together. Even when we aren’t physically together. Ha, rambling today, but you get what I’m sayin’… I hope ;).

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 4, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Oh, we get exactly what you are saying, Brandi. And the next time I’m sick or injured, I want YOU for a nurse! Love your passion and commitment to your calling, both professionally and spiritually. May your coworkers see Jesus in you!

      • Bonnie Roof October 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

        Amen to Brandis’ comments & Liz’ response! Being sick or injured can be a scary time – especially when you are in the hospital. A christian doctor or nurse has the perfect opportunity to express Christs’ love to his/her patients. It can be so comforting – & spiritually life-changing – to a patient. When I had cancer surgery 12 years ago – I took comfort in knowing my surgeon was a christian, taking praise & worship music into the holding room to play before surgery was another comfort for me. And when I recently needed to, again, consult a surgeon – I searched for a christian surgeon.

        • Brandi Luiz October 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

          Bonnie~ it is great to have Christian surgeon’s. I have two that go out in preop holding and pray with and for their patients before EVERY one of their surgeries. I love it!

          Liz~ I would be honored to take care of you! :~)


          • Steffennie December 2, 2012 at 12:56 am #

            I have had to have both of my wrists and thumbs reconstructed and I had a christian surgeon. It was so comforting. Even when he was telling me about the surgery he would say this is what to expect, but we know better, since we know God is in control. I was never supposed to be able to play my flute again, but I can and when I thanked him he responded “You’re thanking the wrong person.” He even prayed with us before the surgery. It’s an amazing blessing to be cared for by a christian, so I’m sure your patients love you.

  11. Vicki October 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Just the reinforcement that God is omni-everything and that I should keep repeating that in my head so that I’m making choices that are Him-directed. That Ruth went to the appropriate field, that Boaz came when he did and noticed her … God stuff totally.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 4, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      This story truly is all God, all the time, Vicki. A cynic might say, “Well, that stuff doesn’t happen in real life…” But this story IS real life: real people, real history, real blessings unfolding before our eyes. SO ready for Chapter 6!

  12. Annette W {This Simple Home} October 4, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    As I think of who I serve it’s amazing to think that this little stay-at-home-mom really does impact more than just my own husband and children. I can serve anyone I come into contact with from my cashier to the UPS man…to my church with the children I teach or the emails I send for Bible study.

    As a blogger, I write some for myself, but I also have an audience, even if it is a small one. Through it, I can serve readers with encouragement and ideas…

    And through it all I hope to be serving the only One who matters.

    Loving this study!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      Right you are, Annette. As my theater director back in high school used to say, “There are no small parts; only small actors.” May God continue to bless your joyful service to him, online and in your home.

  13. Deb V October 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I work in a public office and so I come in contact with lots of people everyday. Many people are lonely or have troubled lives. I always feel like I am serving when I can offer someone a smile or an encouraging word. Sometimes if someone is really having problems, I try to offer up prayers for that person in my quiet time. You can really change someone’s outlook just by caring for them. Through God, I think that is what Ruth did for Naomi.
    The last two weeks I have been out of the country because my son got married in Slovakia. We had a lovely time but what really struck me was how nice everyone was to us. People reached out to us in kindness and generousity that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. Many of these people were new in their christian faith and they didn’t have a lot but what they did have they were so willing to share. It really convicted me on how much I have here and made me want to recommit on sharing my faith and serving others.
    Liz, because of down times at the airport I ended up finishing “The Girls Still Got It”. It was the perfect book to read during this time of change and celebration in our life.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:16 am #

      I’m honored to know The Girl’s Still Got It traveled to Slovakia! Congrats on the wedding. And yes, people around the world who have less DO give more, and have much to teach us about generosity. That’s one of the many reasons I think traveling is a good investment: it changes our thinking about what it means to be “rich” and to be “poor,” and gets our priorities in line. Thanks for sharing, Deb!

  14. Leslie Benson October 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Like you Liz, I have read Psalm 139 so many times but reading it today in the context of an omni-everything God brought tears to my eyes. Thank the Lord that he “hast enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand on me”. I need that so much today!

    Like Ruth my work as a homemaker is not glamorous by any means – it is where the Lord has place me and is necessary. Ruth was unaware as she gleaned the fields that God was “setting the stage” for her to be blessed is such a mighty way not only on earth but in the Kingdom of God. May I be as obedient and humble as Ruth was – not motivated by a tangible reward but to be pleasing to God.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:20 am #

      Your last line makes a wonderful prayer as well as a summary of this chapter. So glad these truths are taking root, Leslie!

  15. Linda H October 5, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Always stand amazed at Psalm 139 and am reminded of God’s presence in my life
    and the plans He made even before I was born. How he knows every word I will speak before I do! He knew Naomi and Ruth as well as you knows me. He is all powerful, understanding beyond my comprehension, and present everywhere I am.
    He orders all my life and what happens for His glory. I pray to remember that daily, sometimes moment by moment. I had finished writing that early Wed. morning when my husband walked out complaining of chest pains. An hour later in ER being told he
    was having a heart attack, I had an amazing peace and knew that at that moment
    I was feeling God’s presence and knew what was happening was all part of His plan. I was not involved in this Bible study by concidence. Writing out my thoughts at that moment was preparing me for what the day was going to hold. Praise the Lord my husband will be alright. God showed His glory!!!

    • Bonnie Roof October 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      So glad your husband is recovering & that you feel God’s presence through a difficult situation! I have seen/read/heard of so many situations (both good & bad) in which the outcome could only be explained by the presence of God – how can anyone doubt there is a God?

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:24 am #

      Oh my, Linda. Do let us know how your husband (and you) are doing. How like our Lord, to surround you with the assurance that he is sovereign, he is trustworthy, and he definitely has a plan. Thank you, Lord, for your peace.

      • Linda H October 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

        Praise God! My husband got to come home. Still some ways to
        go but I know I am not alone.

        • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 10:54 am #

          WONDERFUL news this Monday morning! Thanks for letting us know, Linda.

  16. Bonnie Roof October 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    (1.a.) A number of years ago – I was a cast member of an ongoing, year-round Passion Play portraying the life of Christ, & when it closed – I took a position as a houseparent at a home for abused children for 6-7 years. Neither paid very much & a second source of income was always necessary to meet my living expenses. I hope that my love for Christ & joy in knowing that I was following his will for my life came through in my attitude & spirit, thereby making my love visible to others.

    (1.b.) Numerous people sent letters of appreciation & comments on how God had used the Passion Play to change their lives, likewise – churches & other benefactors of the children’s home frequently sent letters of appreciation & gifts for the houseparents. Even more important to me than any financial rewards or gifts was the recognization of my labors from God in allowing me to see the transformation in the lives of some of the children & people I witnessed to.

    My joy in witnessing through the Passion Play was heightened by the fact that the Lord had used that same Passion Play to bring me “back” to him. But – while doing that, it also continued to minister to me every night & I never got through it without shedding some tears. Such sweet memories!

    (2.a.,b.) Discomfort – knowing that I will probably fail the Lord “umpteen” more times,
    Comfort – knowing, as the amplified version of Psalm 147:5 states, “His understanding is inexhaustible AND boundless”.

    (3.a.) Ripe fields are everywhere I look – even on the days I don’t leave my house, I can find them in the phone calls I get, my mail, even the media avenues of tv & computer bring me names of people, specific situations, & areas of the world to be reached. I have no excuses if I don’t respond.

    (3.b.) The more I pray & study his word – the better spiritually equipped I am to see that glory is given to God, & not myself; I am also prompted to be even more generous to others.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:26 am #

      So glad you are applying the truths in our study to your own life and work, Bonnie. I appreciated your reminder that even in our own homes the world comes to us and can be ministered to.

  17. Roxanne Whiteley October 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    So happy to be referred to this study. Will try to catch up to this Wednesday! What a blessing.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 8, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Take your time, Roxanne. We’ll be here for you!

  18. Shelley October 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I alluded earlier about my previous work place being a toxic environment… I knew I could do nothing without our Lord and Savior’s guidance (His omnipresence!) and i would pray on my walk to work, that HE be with me, that HE give me his strength, that HE protect me, that HE let me do His works, be his hands and feet, that only HIS words come from my mouth … let me show HIS love. I was an admin assist in a personal care home but because of things that were happening at the home I had applied for different positions within the organization as they came up, “but” it seemed that i was to remain at that workplace so I would say that the Lord needs me there for a reason … At times i would have coworkers come to me asking for prayer … I would sit with our dying residents and pray with them and on occasion their family members … I did this for the last 6 years of my employment there (HE made me bold, my previous boss would tell me to be careful as we were not to bring our religious beliefs into the workplace) … was this why I was to be there?? Since I retired I have had many of our residents families and some of my coworkers come to me and say how the atmosphere at the home has changed since I have left. Do you think that this was his harvest time? I still have days that I would love to be there for the residents/families, but I know that I could no longer work in the environment there. I feel that He was with me when I made the decision as I felt such peace, peace that I had not had for a while. I will trust the direction that HE will lead me too….. as he did with Ruth ….

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      Here’s the wonderful thing about living in our Sovereign Lord’s embrace: we don’t have to second guess where we are or what we’re doing. We can simply rest in knowing he’s in charge, then serve and love others as he leads. It’s a minute-by-minute awareness of being in the center of God’s will–that’s what gives us peace. Sounds like you are there, Shelley!

  19. Phyllis October 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I believe what Father is drawing Ruth and each of us to understand is that we need to watch and see where He is at work and join Him in the work.r

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      You’ve summed it up perfectly, Phyllis!

  20. Joyce October 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Just found your face book today…..Had forgotten how powerful the Psalms were. Used your pic and scripture verse on face book today…..It lifted me up just when I needed it, because I wanted to latch out today at someone. But closed my lips…Thanks …Wish I had been with you for the last several weeks in your study of Ruth. .Remember when you were at our church years ago…Loved you.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      Here’s the good news, Joyce: you can go through this study at your own pace. These blogs will live on my website for many years to come, Lord willing! And I’m so glad that Psalm was an encouragement to you. Thanks for passing it on.

  21. Naomi October 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    WOW ! What a powerful chapter. I am a week behind in the study and actually SO glad I am. This was just what I needed this week !!! I volunteer and lead a missions group at our church mission and this particular week have been a little weary and what an Amazing God to gently remind me through this passage in Ruth that He is my Providence !!! And to know that nothing in my life is a “surprise” to Him. I cant get enough of Psalm 139, I also have read this many many times but never has it been more real to me than today.
    I have enjoyed so much in reading the other comments and can relate in “questioning my motive” in serving. I want to always remain Pure in my motive and serve only to glorify God !!
    Thank You Liz for doing this study online, I have gained so much more than just reading the book and doing the study alone. You truly are a blessing and I for one appreciate your heart to serve us through the gifts God has given you. I have had the opportunity to hear you speak twice and cherish each time and I do look forward to hearing you again.
    Cant wait to get started on chapter 6…now to dwell on “omni omni omni”

  22. Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    God’s timing is, as always, perfect! You know, I’ve been dwelling on that “omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent” thing for the last couple of weeks, and it really changes how I see things. I’m honored to work through this Study Guide with my sisters and hope it encourages you in your walk, yet the truth is, I’m learning too! It’s the slowing down and digging deep aspect that’s making a difference for me. So easy to create these questions for other people to answer; another thing entirely to have to wrestle with these issues myself! Thanks be to God that he’s brought us all together here. Catch up with you on chapter 6!

  23. Becky Frith October 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Psalm 139:13 KJV says that ” Thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” I had always thought this meant God was “pulling my strings (reins)”, but when I read Job, I also found that phrase. My husband looked it up and found “reins” in Hebrew refers to our internal organs i.e. kidneys! Our Omni God is definately in charge and knows every thing about us. I truely beleive that nothing is circumstancial. In my genealogy studies I have found so many times that relatives who understood that God has a purpose for their lives were able to do great thngs! Ruth had no idea how God would bless her, but she appears to have been willing to wait and be open to whatever God brought about. Liz, as always you have opened our hearts and minds to God Words! Thank you!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      How wonderful that in studying your family’s history you are discovering deep spiritual truths. And bless you for sharing the bit about our “reins.” Several other translations use the very same word. I love how the NLT puts it: “all the delicate, inner parts of my body.”

  24. Michele Lemiere November 25, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Since all the omni words are true in our life, I really understood that I have to do my work for Him and not for men. How tempting it is to work for the appreciation of men. My prayer is that in everything I do, I will show the love of God. The rest is up to HIm

  25. Steffennie December 2, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    This was definitely a good reminder to me that nothing that ever happens is a mistake. God is always in control and there are no coincidences.
    I love Psalms because it always blesses me. The verses about being knit together in my morther’s womb and Him knowing me even then have always been my favorite verses. I saw them in a different light when I read them in the context of Ruth and Naomi’s journey.
    I’ve never really had a problem with boasting and have a hard time taking a complement even when they’re deserved. But, my struggle is that at times it would be nice if someone realized just how much I do, especially when it comes to the ministry I work in. I work in our Missionettes/Girl’s Ministries group at our church. I have the youngest group, which is 2 year olds. It’s a new group that was only added a few years ago. So, with the help of my coordinator, helpers, and God (most of all God) I’ve built this group from nothing except the idea and 12 stories. It’s not easy and there have been times that I wished for someone to say they appreciated the work. That isn’t always my thought, but I know even wanting that attention at all, is my human side. I just need to learn to completely let God have me, so that my God side remains in control. Giving all of me is the hardest part for me.