We Reap What We Sow

She asked him, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me -- a foreigner?"
Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband -- how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 
May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
"May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord," she said. "You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant -- though I do not have the standing of one of your servants." 
At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it into the wine vinegar."  . . . She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 
. . . So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley . . . She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.   Ruth 2:10-18

Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law was in a very vulnerable state. She was returning empty-handed to her homeland. Ruth could have said goodbye to Naomi and stayed with her mother and father in the familiarity of her own country. Instead, Ruth clung to Naomi and declared, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." She showed kindness to a needy widow and God noticed it!

When they returned to Judah, Ruth immediately put her dignity aside and went gleaning leftovers after harvesters in the fields. She literally put herself in harm's way, judging by the comments of Boaz: "I have told the men not to lay a hand on you."  Her endeavors met with success as she found favor in the eyes of Boaz, the owner of the fields. Boaz gave a simple reason for the favor he showed Ruth: "I have been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law . . . " In other words, "Ruth, you are reaping the same kindness you sowed into the life of your mother-in-law."

Our perception of life should go far beyond our immediate gratification. We should always think about the future. The Bible says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows . . . Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 5:7-9).  Ruth sowed kindness into Naomi's life and she reaped favor from Boaz at the proper time.

If we sow kindness, we will reap kindness. If we bless others, we will reap blessings. If we help others, God will ensure that others will help us in our time of need. If we work hard, we will reap the rewards, but if we are lazy, the results will also show. If we damage others with gossip and slander, it will come back to us. God's word is true: we reap what we sow. May the Lord give you the grace to sow positively so you will also reap a positive harvest.

Payer: Father, I confess that continually sowing good deeds can be wearisome, especially when the returns are not immediately visible. But, please help me not to grow weary but to reflect Jesus and continue to sow positively into the lives of others. Amen.