Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner? Ruth 2:5, 10
“Keep working, and the right people will be drawn to you.”
In the past few years, I have felt lonelier than ever in my entire life. I know God is with me, I know He is for me and will never leave me nor forsake me yet I still go through moments of loneliness. Being alone, and being lonely are very different things, and most people would say that we have no reason to feel alone, much less lonely. The truth is that we can feel lonely for reasons like:
- Separation from familiar or habitual environments
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of physical or mental interaction
It’s pretty deep, and most people do not understand the severity of the problem. I have learned to keep these emotions to myself, because people are quick to tell you ‘God is with you’, ‘you are loved’, ‘pray it off you’, ‘call me’, ‘engage with others more’. And for most people who actually experience loneliness, I can say that we fight for our own sanity. Who wants to be sick? Nobody, sick people go after their healing whether spiritually, mentally or with medicine/surgery. the same with these type of emotional things. I can speak for myself in that, I acknowledge God is with me and He makes His presence known to me: speaking to me directly, giving me visions or dreams. Despite of the amounts of people around me, I rather feel connected to God. Because having experienced separation from God, going through it again I would rather leave this earth, literally.
The thing about God, that makes him vital in my life is that we share an intimate relationship, although it is not physical. God is a very present help for me, and understands every single thing about me and my thoughts without me having to tell him the background, the reasons or give him detailed explanations. He is my father, my counselor and my advisor- I consult with God on most if not all matters. And He’s my bestie! He actually knows more about each of my situations and desires, than I ever could! For the most part, apart from knowing God is with me the reasons why I have felt lonely for so long is because even when I am surrounded by people I still feel alone. I do not feel connected to people as I would like, we share no intimacy. In this fast paced world of technology, conversations are vague and interactions are restless: much of the substance in living a private life and having true partnership is virtually gone. Friends prefer likes, than to make a phone call or to browse through all of Instagram and Snapchat, instead of paying attention to those in front of them. And honestly, it makes me sick. As much as I engage with others and even invest time in them – it becomes even more obvious to me, that we are not on the same page and we have nothing to share. Sometimes it makes me sad because it seems I am ungrateful in having family, friends, work colleagues and even the church community who ‘love me’ and yet I still feel alone. The reason I say all this is not to give you a sad sob story. I am attempting to paint a picture, since many people suffer loneliness or depression, and hide it behind a mask. It’s pretty obvious when people commit suicide, nobody realizes how bad someone is hurting until they take their own life. This is true for believers, and unbelievers alike.
Loneliness is a feeling of separation, isolation, or distance in human relations. Loneliness implies emotional pain, an empty feeling, and a yearning to feel understood and accepted by someone.
In the book of Ruth, we meet Ruth and Noemi who suffered the pains of losing their beloveds. They were left as widows, the bible doesn’t speak much about how Ruth felt but it does speak about Noemi. Noemi became bitter, and did not want anybody to accompany her back to Bethlehem; in essence she wanted to be left alone. She had lost her husband and her sons, and she did not want to be a burden to her daughters in law (Ruth and Orpah). Truth was Noemi needed Ruth. In God’s perfect will, Ruth would play an extremely important role in her life and in the lineage of Jesus Christ. It is good to have alone time but we need to discern when it is only a desire to be alone and not a need to be alone. As the men in their lives passed away, so did their income, shelter and livelihood. I suppose Noemi was an older woman: she had been married and raised two grown men, who were also married. I imagine she was about 50 or 60, and by this time most people’s energy and stamina is not the same as their youthful years. But Ruth was younger, and she offered to work to get ahead for herself and her mother in law.
Ruth could have easily went into isolation, depression or even could have left Noemi and gone back to Moab, but she did not. Ruth was willing to serve God, to be company to Noemi and chose to be an independent worker, under Noemi’s guidance. And this caused her to be noticed by Boaz. Many people see this book as being directly related to getting a husband (or something like that), but this book is about God’s love for us. And as she worked, Boaz noticed her. In the scriptures she says “why have I found favor in your sight? I’m a foreigner.” But God knew that these ladies needed sustenance, and He had their provision. And as God be God, He made Boaz notice and favor young Ruth. Now Ruth was able to remarry, build a home, have children, and continue her lineage. In the book of Matthew we learn that Ruth was actually King David’s grandmother. Ruth was willingly going after the God of Noemi, and she believed things would work out. She was not looking for a new husband, she was not begging for help, she was working. And she was not working only for herself, she was working for herself and her mother in law. I believe that if we keep our eyes on our lot, willingly going after God and serving Him, and doing our best with our secular responsibilities: we will be found by the relationships assigned to our futures. We will meet the perfect people for our business plans, educational goals, career aims, our motherhood/fatherhood or marriage desires and we will in the right place at the right time for those purposes of God which no eye has seen, no ear has heard or human mind conceived.
Lord, I pray for all those who have been waiting a long time for partnership, real partnership of any kind. I pray that today you would give each person a fire to do your will just like Ruth was led and moved to follow after you, and do her best in the secular opportunities which presented themselves to her. I pray against all spirits of frustration, loneliness, depression and isolation in the name of Jesus! I plead the blood of Jesus over every mind and body reading this now. And Lord, I ask for you to heal those people who have been emotionally abandoned or deceived and use isolation to protect themselves, and those who battle with fear, grief and loss, and even those who have grown tired of waiting for the right people to come into their lives. And finally, I pray for those people to be restrengthened, and to keep believing that you are for them and not against. In Jesus name, Amen.