When Destiny is Delayed

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woman with a plan

When you are walking in obedience, you have to believe God is going to cover you.

Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, "You buy the land."

Ruth 4:7–8 nlt

Waiting on a decision that will have an impact on your future is never easy. Whether it's waiting to hear test results from your doctor, watching for an email with the response to your application, or counting the days until you receive someone else's response to your invitation, the suspense kills you. Your mind tries to think through all the variations of what could happen, might happen, will happen.

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You imagine the best case, the worst case, and all the possibilities in between. Clearly, something is about to happen that will alter the path you are on, but you can't yet determine which way the road sign will point.

Boaz had explained the situation to the kinsman who had first rights to marry Ruth and continue the family legacy. He did the honorable thing by playing fair and going directly to the man and explaining the situation. But clearly, after the night when Ruth sneaked into his threshing room, Boaz hoped that somehow this unique and beautiful woman would be his wife. Like an attorney making his closing argument, he would now have to wait to see what the other man would decide.

Somewhere on the other side of town, Ruth and Naomi were waiting anxiously to hear which kinsman redeemer would take Ruth as his wife. They had no clue that they were anxious for no reason. Long before Ruth met Boaz or even her first husband, Mahlon, God had predestined her steps. She was on reserve for her divine destiny.

How befitting it is that the kinsman takes off his shoe and gives it to Boaz. In their time, removing a sandal and handing it over was to say, "My feet will not walk on your ground." Or perhaps another way of saying this would be, "I don't want to step on your toes. Here, you go ahead." With this simple act, Ruth had officially become Boaz's betrothed, even if she wasn't aware of it yet. She may have felt nervous, but had nothing to worry about.

Can you relate? Anyone who's been through what you've been through would have lost his or her mind by now. One thing after another, tears after tears, yet you are still here. You're tired, you're weary, and you're still harboring old fears of what could go wrong. But now is the time to keep your faith firmly rooted in the goodness of your loving Father's character.

He has been strengthening you, refining you, building you up to handle what lies ahead. You may feel like it's taking too long, or even that the Lord has forgotten you. But consider this: Could it be that God has you on reserve? You may not realize it, but you were bought with a cost. You have been placed on reserve for a higher purpose.

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