September 18, 2018
“May the Lord reward you for your work. May full pay be given to you from the Lord, the God of Israel. It is under His wings that you have come to be safe.” Ruth 2:12 (NLV)
When life gets messed up, it is only natural to feel like God is overlooking our sufferings and not at work in our lives. But believing God doesn’t care can blind us to where He is working, or we can attribute His goodness to nothing more than good luck.
I don’t believe in good luck. I believe in a good God.
In the book of Ruth, we read how Naomi struggled to see God at work in her life due to the onslaught of losses and disappointments she had endured. She had to leave her home due to a famine and move to another city. Then, she lost her husband, two sons, friends, wealth and financial security. Her heart became bitter and her faith, shaken. She believed her life was permanently void of good things and felt all she had was bad luck. Yet, despite her negativity and lack of faith, God had awesome plans for her life.
When good things finally did start happening after a long season of suffering, I can’t help but wonder if Naomi chalked them up to happenstance rather than giving credit where credit was due. It would have been easy because her heart was heavy, her faith weak and her spirit crushed. Yet, as you read her story, it’s obvious there was a good God orchestrating a divine plan.
We read in chapter one that Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth arrived back in Bethlehem just in time for the beginning of the barley harvest. Good luck? No, a good God with perfect timing. The harvest was God’s plan for meeting their physical needs for food and nourishment.
In Ruth 2:1, we find Naomi had a wealthy and influential relative named Boaz. Good luck? No, generations of planning by a good God to open doors of opportunity, provision and protection from harm. In Ruth 2:2-3, Ruth goes to pick up leftover grain in the fields, and “As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz” (NIV). Was it just good luck she ended up in Boaz’s field, of all fields? No, it was a good God going before her and guiding her steps.
Then in Ruth 2:4, the story continues, “Just then Boaz arrived …” (NIV). Good luck? No, a good God with perfectly orchestrated timing. And who does Boaz just happen to notice? Ruth. Good luck? No, a good God working on a man’s heart to prepare His plans to be carried out.
Ruth 2:12 reminds us of God’s goodness: “May the Lord reward you for your work. May full pay be given to you from the Lord, the God of Israel. It is under His wings that you have come to be safe” (NLV). And the rest is history.
Boaz later married Ruth, and they have a son together, giving Naomi a new son-in-law and a precious grand-bundle of joy. He purchased Naomi’s land and secured her financial well-being. These were all divinely planned gifts from God, not just good luck. Gifts of restoration and blessing, in His perfect timing, according to His perfect plans.
As for me, I have seen God at work, and His restoration plans for my life play out day by day. I can look back at so many good things that have happened over the past few years and can’t help but smile … because I see God’s miracles, not just streaks of good luck.
Although many areas of my circumstances are not yet restored, and life is often still hard, I now realize God did something even better than I could have imagined. He’s healed my heart and restored my strength, peace, hope, faith and joy — just as He did for Naomi and Ruth, and just as He wants to do for each of His children.
There’s no such thing as chance-happenings, my friend, only God-happenings, because Scripture reminds us God has His hand in all matters under the sun. Remember: God is always in control, working behind the scenes to orchestrate good plans for our lives. This not only gives us great hope, but also equips us to live with joy — despite whatever life throws at us.
Lord, fill me with the hope that restoration of my life and my joy is possible — if not in my way, then Your way. Restore my heart as You plan to restore my circumstances. I trust You and give You credit for all good things that happen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 145:9, “The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.” (NLT)
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
Do you long to feel hopeful and joyful again, excited about God’s restoration in your life? Join the Love Life Again Online Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries! Click here to sign up for free today.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think of something you’ve prayed for God to restore. What have you expected that restoration to look like?
How might you have dismissed God’s goodness by thinking it was just good luck? Share a prayer in our comments section, asking God to change your perspective and see His goodness in your life.
© 2018 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 18 September 2018.