“And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.”
– Ruth 3:14-15
Are you a morning person?
I am. To me, nothing is more magical than watching darkness turn to light; seeing your ordinary world awash and shimmer in an orange glow that turns pink before vanishing into an average blue sky. At least that’s what mornings can be like in the Ozarks.
I’ll admit though, there are days when the magical orange sky never appears. Maybe I stayed up late the previous night and didn’t get enough sleep or the day ahead was clouded with rain and made it extremely difficult to wake up without excessive amounts of caffeine – these are days I have a hard time enjoying the early wake up call.
The latter are usually days when I find it difficult to focus on my quiet time, Bible reading and/or devotional book. Those days, everything is foggy and I wonder, “Does this even count anymore?”
Recently, I read a verse in Ruth that answered that question for me.
You read it at the beginning of this post and if you’re wondering how it applies to what we’ve been talking about, let me explain…
I’m not sure what Ruth thought of mornings. We know that she obviously rose early to go work in the field. We know she worked all day and worked hard for what she gathered. (See Ruth 2:5-7.) We know that she and Naomi were not well off, and being un-married women trying to eke out a living in those days was no easy feat! Ruth exhibits a positive, optimistic attitude and is willing to do what it takes, but I’m sure she had bad days too. Maybe days she wished she could hit “snooze,” flop over and bury her head under the pillow.
Yet, as good as Ruth was, she still needed a Kinsmen-Redeemer. The verses at the beginning of this post are taken from the passage where she slips into the threshing floor late at night, speaks to Boaz about his place as kinsmen, where he says, “Yes, but there is a kinsmen nearer than I,” and then he tells her to lay at his feet until the morning and he would figure it all out for her …and so she did. Now, let’s pay close attention to what happens next…
1 “And she lay at his feet until the morning…” There are many hymns and songs that speak of laying our burdens at Jesus feet and in the New Testament, Mary was commended for sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening, learning. When we find ourselves in tough times, it’s good to slip into the throne room and lay our problems and ourselves at the feet of Jesus for a while. (Luke 10:38-42, Hebrews 4:16)
2 “And she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.” Ruth rose early. Why? To spend time with Boaz, talk about the events of the day and make a plan. That kind of sounds like what our quiet time with the Lord should be like, right? (Proverbs 8:17, Psalm 63:1-5)
3 “And he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it.” Why the veil? Because that’s what Ruth had with her. Just like Boaz asked for her veil, the Lord asks us to bring whatever we have to Him each morning. It doesn’t have to be exotic or a grand talent we have, it just has to be what we have at the moment. Even if we don’t have much. (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7)
4 “And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.” When Ruth willingly gave Boaz what she had, he filled it with a supply she didn’t have to work for. Interesting tidbit here, one “measure” is a ten day supply of barley. Boaz gave her six measures! A sixty day supply! He gave her more than what she needed! When we surrender our day to the Lord, He too, will give us an overwhelming supply of whatever we need to get through. After Ruth received this, she went into the city. We too, are better equipped to tackle the work of the day after we’ve spent time with Jesus and received His supply of love and grace. (Lamentations 3:22-23, 2 Chronicles 20:15 and 17)
So the answer is yes, when my quiet time seems to be a struggle some days, it still counts. It’s still effective. Why? Because I don’t bring Jesus the barley – I bring Him my veil. Even on my best days, I come empty and He supplies. It isn’t a performance. It’s an exchange. I bring Him the next 24 hours, He graciously takes it and says, “I’ll take care of that,” and gives me a new supply of grace to enjoy that day. He does the important part and like Ruth, I’m there to receive the benefits of being close to the Kinsman-Redeemer.