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As It Turned Out

I wonder how much time I have wasted in my life planning, waiting, even praying, for the “big break?”

Big breaks are exciting.

And they do happen.

The problem is that when we see them happen in other people’s lives, it looks to us like their big break came out of nowhere.

Like an unlikely, widowed, destitute Moabite refugee woman marrying a wealthy Jewish farmer. On the surface it looked like that “big break” for Ruth the Moabite came out of the blue.

No one saw it coming.

Except for one little verse in the book of the Bible that bears her name.

You know the story, right?

Years earlier a little Jewish family, during the time of the Judges, left Bethlehem during a severe famine, and moved to Moab. While there, the two sons married Moabite women.  But all three men in the household died, and Naomi headed back to Bethlehem with her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth.

The two of them had no source of income or provision between them, and little sympathy from the townspeople.

And it just happened to be barley harvest.

One of those little details that looks incidental but proves to be pivotal.

So, when you have nothing to eat and no one to help, what do you do at barley harvest time?

Sit at home, waiting and praying for your big break?

No!

You get up early, you get yourself ready, and you head out to the fields to hopefully glean some barley behind the harvesters.

You do what is right in front of you.

Nothing glamorous. Nothing exciting about it. No one patting you on the back or even cheering you on. Just one foot in front of the other.

Work.

Not a big break in sight.

Then, in chapter 2, verse 3, we get to the first little hint that God was working behind the scenes. And not just for the immediate provision of food and shelter for Naomi and Ruth.

God was working on the unlikely lineage through whom the Christ would be born one thousand years later.

Ruth 2:3 says, “As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz.”

All Ruth knew that morning, when the front door closed behind her, was that she was going to glean barley and provide for some food for herself and Naomi.

But with every step out to the barley fields, God was orchestrating Ruth’s big break that would never have come if she had stayed home.

It has been my personal experience that every major provision of God in my life, every big break, has come when I have been doing what was necessary in the moment, just putting one foot in front of the other.

It pays to trust God, expecting that He is at work in every aspect of your life while being faithful in the little things.

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