“And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of a field belonging to Boaz, who was the kindred of Elimelech.” Ruth 2:3
So let me set this up. Ruth, a Moabitess and young widow of an Israelite, followed her widowed mother-in-law (Naomi) back to Israel from her homeland.
They are so poor they have to glean in fields to have food. Gleaning was when as fields were being harvested instead of carefully getting all the grain up, a portion would intentionally be left. It was left for exactly this situation where poor people would be able to collect the remains so they wouldn’t starve.
So Ruth is going to fields to glean so that she and her mother-in-law won’t starve and she “happens” on Boaz’s field. Boaz is a kinsman (in this case a very close relative) of Ruth’s in-laws.
Here’s the thing – there is NO WAY this is by “chance”. It is divinely directed… this man ends up becoming her husband and they are actually part of the lineage of Jesus. This is not an accident. Yet as I look up the Greek word for “hap” it is miqreh, which implies sheer “luck” – or as they describe it a “fortuitous chance” (which simply implies “good” luck).
But what I really believe this is saying is that to us it appears to be a “happy coincidence” shall we say. As I dug into the root word (qarah), we find that this word can be used to mean “to be made to meet” in other words – Somebody planned it (and yes, Somebody is capitalized on purpose!).
Here’s the thing, how often in our lives have we felt like we are making some random choice – yet it ends up having been a critical decision that works out to our benefit? We “happened” to stop at the grocery story where we meet some friend who invites us to church where we “happen” to get saved and then “happen” to meet our future spouse – or whatever! (That’s an example by the way – not my actual story!) Proverbs 16:9 says:
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
And then in Psalm 37:23-24 says:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
You see as we submit to God – to His will – He directs our steps… and that includes even when we don’t realize it. There are moments where God is looking out for us on things that aren’t even on our radar screen. I know that I have seen Him first hand do that in my own life.
I say all this to simply say – instead of obsessing over which choices to make when, spend your thoughts and energy on submitting yourself to the Lord. When you do that He has already assured you He has you covered.
Honestly, the only reasons for NOT submitting to the Lord are: 1) we don’t trust Him enough to believe He will actually do what He says He’ll do, or 2) we don’t want to do it His way, we want to do it our way. I would challenge you to check your own heart and see where you are – so often we make these choices to run our own lives inadvertently , but the ramifications are the same… we need to let Him be Lord. The blessings when we do far outweigh the challenges of doing it 🙂
Lord, forgive us for sometimes forgetting that we’ve made You Lord of our lives – for forgetting wheat that actually means. Help us to understand even better how to submit to You – to Your will. And God, I just thank You for directing our steps – for being mindful of all the things we don’t even know about yet and working them all together for our good. You do that so that we can focus our hearts on You and not be concerned with such things because You have them covered. Wow. You do that because You love us so much You would rather deal with what seems to us like the “hard stuff” all because You simply long for our attention – our hearts.
So God, I pour out my heart before You and simply thank You for loving me so much. For being so mindful of me… it is almost unfathomable the love You have for each one of us… help us to understand Your heart for us even more. I exalt You Lord, and thank You for being my God. You are a good God and I love You. 🙂