A Tapestry In Progress

In yesterday's post, we discussed how Naomi's bitterness turned her heart against the Lord, and how she chose to view her circumstances as the Lord's mistreatment of her rather than choosing to believe that God was working all things for her good, as He had promised.  Today we'll examine the details of God's plan and the intricacies that were involved to bring it about.

 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. - Ruth 2:1-3

The Bible tells us that Naomi had a good connection--a family member that was a mighty man of wealth.  Too bad she didn't seem interested in being around her family.  And poor Ruth probably didn't know anything about the man.  All she knew was that they were going to go hungry if she didn't get out in the field and try to find some food, even if it was the few pieces that were left behind.  Notice what verse 3 says:  and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.  In other words, of all the places she could have gone to gather food, she just "happened" to pick Boaz's field.  I love it!

As I've told you many times before, I don't believe in coincidences.  Ruth didn't happen upon the field.  She was led there by God, whether she realized it at the time or not.  At this point, for the sake of time, I'll skip ahead in the story, but I urge you to read through the entire book of Ruth.  It's very short, but quite intriguing and worth the time.  Anyway, Ruth meets Boaz.  Boaz agrees to be Ruth's kinsman-redeemer and to take care of her and Naomi.  And in the end, Ruth and Boaz get married.  Then look what happens:  So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. . . And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

If you flip over to Matthew 1, you'll find the lineage of Christ, and guess what?  You'll find Ruth and her son, Obed and his son, Jesse and his son, David.  Do you see what God did?  Not only did He save Ruth by bringing her back to His people where she could know and serve the one true God, but He used her to bring about the Savior of the world.  If her husband and father-in-law hadn't died, none of this would have happened.  There would have been no marriage to Boaz and therefore, no children of their union.  Who knows what would have happened if God had allowed Elimelech and his sons to live.  What we do know, however, is that God worked something beautiful out of something that seemed so horrible and tragic.  He had a plan, and He was working it out all along.  I don't know if Naomi ever realized that.  The Bible doesn't tell us.

We can know, however, whether we will accept that truth or not.  God has assured us that He has a great plan for our lives.  Some days, it's easy to see that and accept it.  Other days, not so much.  But it is on those days that we can look back to this precious story of Ruth and say, "You know, Ruth didn't know what was going on either.  She didn't understand how God was working in her life.  In fact, to her, things seemed pretty bad.  But she hung in there and followed the Lord's leading, and in the end, she recognized the masterpiece that God had been weaving all along.  I can learn from that."  

Your tapestry may not look like much right now.  In fact, it may seem like a tangled mess of frayed threads and dark patches, but it's not finished yet.  The design has been fashioned and is currently a work in progress.  But I can guarantee you it will be beautiful and definitely worth the wait.  So, in the meantime, be like Ruth.  Do what you know to do, and leave the rest in God's hands.  He took care of her.  Don't you think He'll do the same for you?