There’s a tiny little phrase in The Story of Ruth this week that jumped out at me. It’s the phrase, “As it turned out…” found in Ruth 2:3b. In the context of the chapter, Ruth has asked Naomi for her approval to go to the fields “and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Knowing they had no other means of getting food for themselves, Naomi says, “Go ahead, my daughter.”
And as Ruth ventures out, God goes into action. Ruth selects the field of the man who will become her kinsman-redeemer.
If I had a good memory, I would tell you about the hundreds of times, great and small, when by some strange coincidence I have found myself in the right place at the right time – and seen God’s hand at work. Know what I mean? Ruth could have chosen any field! Boaz was not even present when she chose the one belonging to him. But God knew which field would play into his plan – The Upper Story plan. Ruth was his chosen vessel, and when she stopped at Boaz’ field there was a perfect alignment of her will and God’s.
Last Sunday morning, and again later that evening at a small group I attended, someone commented on how interesting to think that Ruth’s story was only one of so many other stories that were unfolding at that time in Bethlehem. Of course, God chose to record that one because Ruth’s decision to glean in Boaz’s field that day led to marriage, then to the birth of Obed, and eventually to the birth of Jesus. But my friends make a good point: we each have an “As it turned out” story, don’t we? It’s part of our collection of “God-incidences.” Find someone and share a couple of those, will you? I’d love to hear some of them, too!