Devotional Week 38 Friday
“At this, she (Ruth) bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes….’”
Ruth 2: 10
“How to Live Your Life” by
Two Women Who Knew What They Were Talking About!
5 Characteristics of Ruth – The Delightful Daughter – Part V
“Delightful:” To be pleasant. To bring satisfaction and joy to others.
“Seek delight in what you give not in what you get.”
What does the word “delightful” mean to me?
Do I consider myself to be a “delightful” person?
“The whole point of the letter to the Philippians is: I do rejoice – do you rejoice?”
“Be joyful always.”
I Thessalonians 5: 16
Many years ago, Jim and I heard of a region along the California coast where there were vast fields of flowers grown for commercial sale. When we found out the flowers were in bloom, we decided to take a day trip and see for ourselves what the fields looked like. We weren’t disappointed! The color was spectacular! I’d never seen so many flowers in one place at one time. But my favorite area in one of the fields was long rows of sunflowers. I can’t begin to properly explain the breath-taking beauty of those large golden sunflowers. Just looking at them made me feel happy. And if someone ever asked me since then to define, with a real-life example, what the word “delightful” meant, I’d go back to that field of sunflowers. It was delightful. It made you smile. It made you happy to be alive.
People can be a lot like those sunflowers. I’m sure you know what I mean. When certain people walk into the room, everything seems brighter. The world appears to be full of life. Some people I know just have a fantastic way of bringing bunches of joy into the lives of everyone they meet. James Barrier observed, “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
Perhaps this is why we find God’s daughter, Ruth, was like a gorgeous, bright, delightful sunflower, in the lives of those around her.
Let me give you three reasons I believe Ruth was one of those individuals who was a delight to be around:
Reason 1: Ruth was an optimist who chose to see God’s guiding and helping hand rather than focusing on the negative events that transpired in her life. Not once, do we find Ruth grumbling about being a widow or being poor or leaving her family and friends in Moab. Nor do we see her complaining because she had to work hard and take care of Naomi as well as herself. Instead, she cheerfully chose to spread joy and gratitude, even thanking Boaz for the kindness he bestowed upon her.
Reason 2: Ruth focused on others’ needs rather than her own. Author Evelyn Underhill offers this wonderful perspective, “This is the secret of joy. We shall no longer strive for our own way.” Assisting others who need our delightful spirit of love and encouragement is one of the quickest ways I know to guarantee my own joy.
Reason 3: Ruth focused on the purpose of her life not the possessions of her life. Even Boaz noted that the beautiful Ruth could have set her eye on some young man, but instead, she chose the love of the older Boaz who had treated her with a redeeming love. I think Boaz admired the fact that Ruth wasn’t consumed with the externals in life but chose to focus on the inward beauty of heart and soul, which she obviously possessed.
Jakob Boehme wrote, “We are all strings in the concert of His joy.” I can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe the delightfulness that Ruth brought into the lives of everyone she touched. A heavenly joy that as the English poet, Philip Sidney, described, “Delight hath a joy in it that is permanent.” How true, for Ruth left a permanent mark on history with the delight she brought into the lives of family and friends.
Right now, we live in a time when our sad old world could use a lot of delightful people, who like those gorgeous sunflowers, bring smiles to the faces of the sorrowing and happiness into the hearts of the hurting. There is an ancient proverb which says, “One joy dispels a hundred cares.” Like Ruth, how about you and me choosing to open our hearts to the heavenly joy of our Father and then passing that happiness on to others every day.
“Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved.”
“I am shaken with gladness;
My limbs tremble with joy;
My heart and the earth tremble
The ecstasy of life
Is abroad in the world.”
Sweep us off our feet and dance
with us through our days.
Surprise us with Your rhythms;
Dare us to try new steps,
explore new patterns…
…release us from old routines
to swing in abandoned joy
and fearful adventure.
And in the intervals,
rest us in Your still center.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus