Delayed or Immediate Glory?
If there is one female Biblical character I'd like to model my life after, it would have to be Ruth. I used to admire women more like Deborah or Priscilla because they were strong and outspoken leaders -- something I strove to be. Now I begin to realize that my former ambitions and plans for myself were very egotistical.
- Ruth came from very lowly circumstances -- not only was she a foreigner, but she was also a widow. In every possible way she was an outsider and "didn't belong."
- She was intimate with pain and sorrow.
- Ruth was willing to forsake everything for the God of Israel. She spared nothing in her pursuit of God.
- She was a selfless servant -- Ruth took the lowliest of labor to care for her mother-in-law.
- Ruth was a hard worker -- she gave 110%.
- Her reputation spoke for her -- she was known among the Jewish community as a virtuous woman.
- She "married smart" -- even though Ruth probably could have had any handsome young man she wanted, she chose to marry a godly older man and was blessed through that union.
- God blessed Ruth because of her obedience and willingness to serve Him.
I personally hadn't paid much attention to Ruth in the past. She immigrated to Israel with her mother-in-law, worked in a field, married a much older man, had a baby... big deal. Ruth didn't do any "glorious" things like assassinate a king (Jael), judge a nation and lead an army into battle (Deborah), nor did she have intellectual conversations with apostles and great teachers (Priscilla). She pretty much lived out her life in humble service. Emphasis is placed on her servant's heart more than anything. No gloriously exciting actions. No "big things."
Or so I thought. But the older I get, the more I realize that my life doesn't have to be filled with big, glorious deeds for God (or myself). He doesn't need my puny trophies. What He wants is for my heart to be fully surrendered to Him and His service. Better that my life be filled with delayed glory (like Ruth's) where my actions reap glory for God for generations to come, rather than immediate glory for myself. Do we ever hear of Deborah's descendants? No, but Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and was thereby placed directly in Christ's lineage.
I think I'd rather have a life of humble service that has long-term effects.
~ from the pages of Carey's journal