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Where Do You Take Your Broken Dreams?

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There’s common ground for all of us in the book of Ruth. Heartache. Struggle. Broken dreams. Hope lost – and found again.


  • After experiencing the agonizing pain of becoming a widow, Ruth reached a crossroads moment. She committed herself to the God of the Hebrews, and to her mother-in-law, Naomi.
  • Ruth and Naomi moved to Bethlehem during harvest season.
  • Under God’s welfare plan, Ruth went to the fields to glean. God directed her steps into a field belonging to a distant relative named Boaz. Boaz knew what Ruth had done for Naomi. He protected her and was very generous with her.
Israel - threshing grain and The Warming House

Implements used to thresh grain in Bible times by Lisa@TheWarmingHouse

Naomi’s Plan

As the harvest season came to a close, Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours?” (Ruth 3:1-2)

Naomi encouraged Ruth to go to the threshing floor where Boaz would be winnowing barley then sleeping near his grain to protect it from thieves.

“Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes . . . When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down.” Ruth 3:3-4

Yes – this sounds strange, but it was common for a servant to lay at his master’s feet and share his covering.

“Best clothes” means a cloak or outer garment. It would protect Ruth’s identity as she went to a place women didn’t frequent at night.

When Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz, she was appealing to him to honor the Israelite Levirate law. (Deuteronomy 25:5-6)

Ruth’s Heart

At this point, Ruth had been living from one gleaning to the next. As the days went by, she may have hoped for a proposal from Boaz. Now the harvest was over. No more gleanings. No proposal. Diminished hope. Uncertain future.

This was her heart as she made her way out into the darkness. At the threshing floor she would lay down her broken dreams and place herself at the mercy of the one who had the power to change her future.

What are you carrying in your heart today?

Ruth’s Request

As Naomi instructed, Ruth secretly approached Boaz after he went to lie down at the end of the grain pile. She uncovered his feet and lay down.

Surprised to find a woman at the threshing floor, he asked, “Who are you?”

Threshing floor

Threshing floor (Photo credit: Andrea Kirkby)

Ruth replied, “I am your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” Ruth 3:9

Asking him to spread the corner of his garment over her was a simple request for his protection.

The Wing of God’s Protection

The word “corner” in Hebrew means “wing.”

Look at Boaz’ prayer for Ruth in chapter two.

“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.” Ruth 2:12

His prayer referred to the wings of God’s protection. As Boaz prayed for Ruth to be blessed under God’s wing of protection, he had no idea that God would answer his prayer by attempting to place Ruth under Boaz’ wing of protection as her kinsman redeemer!

Are there people you’re praying for today? How might God want to use you to fulfill those requests? 

Ruth must have wondered how Boaz would respond. Would he condemn her? Reject her? Humiliate her? As a distant kinsman-redeemer, he was under no obligation to redeem her.

Love’s Response

In Ruth 3:10-13, Boaz happily tells Ruth he will do everything she’s asked. But there was a nearer kinsman-redeemer he would have to check with first.

Boaz sent Ruth home with a large gift of grain for Naomi to let her know that he would not forget her. She would share in Ruth’s good fortune. What a great man!

Boaz is a picture of Christ. We can take our broken dreams to him. As we place ourselves at the mercy of our Savior who has the ability to change our future, he does not condemn, ignore, or reject us. He happily receives us and gives us fresh hope.

Thanks for stopping in. Hope you’ve been encouraged by Ruth’s story. Would love to hear if there’s a part of her story you relate to.

With full confidence in the character of God . . .



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