(Photo credit: Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa “Cyclone”, Medium – Oil on canvas, Size 16″ x 20″)
I’m not a worrier by nature, but when things quiet down at the end of the day, if there is anything to worry about, that’s when I worry. I think about the many ways I ruined my children through the day; I worry about their health and development; I think about the things I wish I’d said or done; and I worry that I’m not supporting my husband, my family, and my friends as much as I could.
One particular night, my thoughts were caught up in a cyclone of worry. My thoughts swirled round and round about the same unknowns, with a darker and darker view of life.
I knew that my only escape from the whirlwind would be to think about something true. But, truth is hard to come by in the midst of a worry cyclone. I wracked my mind for something – anything – true.
That’s when the most unassuming Scripture came to mind.
It wasn’t a comforting Psalm, nor an instructive Proverb. It wasn’t one of Jesus’ encouraging “I am…” statements. Surprisingly, this bit of truth that found me in the midst of my cyclone was from a genealogy.
Like a scrap of newspaper caught up in the wind, this bit of truth fluttered its way through the whirlwind and stuck to the forefront of my mind:
There was a woman named Ruth. She had a son named Obed.
“Really?” I thought. “That’s my truth? That’s my escape from the cyclone of worry??”
(I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, because we’ve been studying the book of Ruth in our women’s Bible study, but I was hoping for something a bit more… heroic.)
However, I was desperate, so I chose to hold onto that little (humble) bit of historical truth. I meditated on it over and over again: There was a woman named Ruth. She had a son named Obed. There was a woman named Ruth. She had a son named Obed.
Miraculously and lovingly, the Holy Spirit used it to guide me out of my worries and into the truth. He reminded me that God cared for Ruth when she was a poor, foreign, widow seeking refuge “under His wings”. He reminded me that “He gave her conception”, that He developed her baby in the womb, and brought that baby to birth; that He gave Ruth’s son Obed life, meaning, and legacy. Ultimately, he reminded me that He is the same God today, and He will love and protect me as ardently as He loved and protected Ruth and Obed.
Through those two sentences – straight out of a genealogy – God reminded me that He is sovereign over all life, that He is trustworthy, and that He loves me. Isn’t it amazing that all of that encouragement was packed into one little bit of truth?
That night, the storm of worries ceased. For, there was a woman named Ruth…
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete,equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually! – from Psalm 119