The dictionary definition is-
“Gather (leftover grain or other produce) after the harvest.”
Then I looked up the word “glean” on bible hub and found this.
“The act of gathering after reapers” (usually reserved for the poor).
In Ruth 2:2-23, Ruth was gleaning in the field in order to provide for her and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Though gleaning is not the idle job, it was a noble job. In this season of Ruth’s life she just lost her husband and she is living in a new land. Instead of going home to what was familiar she decided to go to Judah with Naomi and to follow God.
When she got to Judah she went to the Boaz’s fields to glean hoping to get enough for her and Naomi to live off of. While the reapers took the majority of the harvest, those who glean took what was left over. Usually, the ones who glean are the poor or less fortunate. They have to set aside their pride and take what’s left. Essentially, they had to do what they had to do to survive.
Do you ever feel like you’re gleaning in the field while everyone else is reaping the rewards of the harvest? I sometimes feel like I am gleaning in the field doing work that is not as fun, rewarding or ideal. Some examples of this are:
- Working at a job that is not in your career field but it’s where God has you for a season
- Taking on two jobs for a season to help provide for a loved one
It appears that those people being blessed outwardly are the reapers and those who glean are in the field work hard for nothing. However, leftovers are blessings too. You don’t need a lot to experience God’s presence and grace. All He wants is all of you. But if those who glean are not aware it will seem like God is blessing everyone else but them. They will weigh them down and feel like a chore and they will not be grateful for their leftovers. If the person who gleans was not aware of the blessing God has in store, they will become discontent. They may be jealous of the reaper or try to do their own things to fix this season.
Then I had to remember gleaning was just a temporary season for Ruth and it will be for me too. Ruth had her eyes fixed on God not on the world. She did what she had to do to survive and praised God for what she had. She was a hard worker with a good work ethic. The harvest overseer noticed that and when Boaz asked, the overseer relayed Ruth’s reputation to Boaz. By chapter 4, Boaz asked Ruth to marry him and the rest is history.
So my sister in Christ, your blessing may not be a husband it may be a new job, promotion or new opportunity, but we must remember to remain encouraged and trust God in this season while we glean. We should not underestimate the power of God even in our season of gleaning. He has a master plan for your life. Trust him and don’t let pride get in the way of your blessing. Here are 3 steps to keep in mind while we glean.
1.) Follow Christ
Ruth 1: 16 “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.'”
2.) Work as if you are working for God and give praise to God for what you have.
Ruth 2: 6-7 “And the foreman replied, ‘She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.’”
Colossians 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
3.) Your best is yet to come.
Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”
A woman at my job once told me, “Sometimes it’s best to bloom where you are planted. Work hard where you are and the rest will fall into place.”
So sis, no matter what season you’re in make sure you GLEAN!
By Patrice McKenzie
Photo Cred- Pexel and Lindsay Garvin