“So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.” ~ Ruth 2:3 (NLT)
My son, Eric, recently became a partner in an exciting new business venture. As I have mentioned, Eric has Aspberger’s Syndrome, which makes life a little more challenging for him. It is always a joy to watch our children succeed in life, and with Eric, the victories are even sweeter because I know what he has overcome to arrive where he is.
Eric is 24 years old but does not have a driver’s license. He has become an expert on public transportation, yet, we live in a suburban area and some places are simply not accessible by bus. His company recently leased office space and we went for a drive last weekend to find it. It is in a residential area, not in the city’s center, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the public bus route passes directly in front of the building! Coincidence or God’s grace?
Last week, the week before payday, left me with not much more than purse lint in my wallet. Late last week I received a letter in the mail from my old bank. They had apparently charged fees on a line of credit that was closed two decades ago and recently found that those fees were charged in error. The envelope contained a check for $127.08, which gave me enough money to fill my gas tank and pay for Eric’s eye doctor visit. Coincidence or God’s provision?
Recently, I was on Facebook when a “suggested friend” appeared. It was someone I have not seen or talked to in close to ten years. I “friended” him and what ensued was a two and a half hour phone call where I was blessed with the opportunity to share the love of Christ with a hurting soul. Coincidence or God-orchestrated?
I love the Bible story of Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth. Naomi had lost her husband and both of her sons and was leaving Moab to return to her homeland of Israel. Although Naomi tried to convince Ruth to stay in Moab with her family, Ruth refused to leave her mother-in-law’s side.
Once in Israel, Ruth went out into the fields to glean barley for food for her and Naomi. The field she chose was owned by Boaz, who “just happened” to be a close relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. Boaz not only allowed her to glean from his fields, but he also made sure she was treated with respect by his men and instructed the harvesters to purposely drop barley on the ground so Ruth would be able to gather it.
The Book of Ruth is a short read but filled with glimpses of Jesus through the actions of Boaz. Ruth left her family and her homeland and chose to follow the God of Israel. It was not happenstance that Ruth ended up gleaning in Boaz’ field. God had a plan and through Ruth’s obedience, she was blessed with food, protection, and a new husband. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor to Jesus. Nothing that happened to her was coincidence.
In my own life, the bus route, the check, the reconnection…I view none of these things as luck or coincidence. God is always at work in our lives and it is truly a double blessing when we are able to recognize such events as God’s providence.
When we write off the blessings in our life as happenstance or coincidence, we miss out on that extra blessing of feeling God’s grace at work in our lives. I pray for you this week that you become more aware of God’s work in your life, in ways both big and small.