Ruth followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Bethlehem after the death of both of their husbands. In order to provide food for the two of them Ruth went to gather food from the fields.
So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.
“As it turned out” is translated “she happened to happen upon” in Hebrew (1). The original Hebrew suggests that perhaps it was more than just by chance Ruth ended up gleaning in the field of Elimelech. The story of Ruth is all about God’s providence and provision. I don’t think Ruth ended up in that particular field by accident, but because it was God’s plan. God is sovereign and in control of all situations at all times. He had Ruth gleaning in the field of the man who would later become her husband.
God is present and involved in our lives today just as much as He was in the lives of the people we read about in the Bible. Many of the things we chalk up to coincidence are not by coincidence at all but by the design of God’s plan for our lives. I think we miss out on the opportunity to see God at work and give Him the glory when we simply think things in our lives happen by chance.
God has divine appointments for us, specific times in our lives when we will intersect with other people and our lives will be forever changed. Can you think of a time when that happened to you? Did you recognize God’s hand in it? For me, my husband and I bought our first house 18 years ago and the people who moved in next door would forever change my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but my new neighbors, who happened to be a pastor and his family, would lead me to Christ.
I don’t think we bought that house by accident or it was a coincidence who our neighbors were; I believe all of that was orchestrated by the Lord. When we find ourselves in situations like Ruth, where we just happen to be in the right place at the right time, we need to thank God and give Him glory for the way He is working in our lives. God did something unique in my life by placing me on that street where I would not only come to know the Lord but make some of my closest life long friends who I would be able to share my faith journey with.
Where does God have you today? Do you find you are in the right place at the right time? Can you think of a coincidence that with further reflection was God’s providence and provision in your life? Praise Him and thank Him for all He has done and continues to do in your life each day.