If you haven’t read the book of Ruth recently, do yourself a favor and go through it again.  Look at this story through the eyes of two broken hearted widows.  Feel their desperation and hopelessness.  Elimelech left Israel when he didn’t have as much as he wanted.  Naomi returned when she’d lost everything.  There are no Red Sea partings in this book.  No one is raised from the dead.  No one is healed from a dreaded disease.  But Ruth and Naomi didn’t starve. They didn’t just survive. Ruth “just happened” to find the field of a kind man who would fall in love with her. God gave them heaping helpings of food, a new home, and a new family.  God blessed them with love and children that they didn’t see as possible. Neither Boaz nor Ruth would have been considered a “good” Jew.  He is a half breed; she is a foreigner. No Hebrew would have written the history that way, but God blesses those who obey him in ways they can’t even imagine. He took Naomi from empty to full; Ruth from alien widow to great-grandma of King David; Boaz from bachelor to husband and father.  Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz are all ordinary people living ordinary lives.  There is no miracle here…just enough submission to the will of God for them to clearly see the hand of God.

Sometimes I want a miracle from God.  I give him the plan and ask him to make it happen. How many “miracles” have I missed because they weren’t what I expected?  God’s plan is more than we can ask or imagine for ourselves. I don’t need a miracle; I just need God.  There is no trial or crisis so big that threatens God’s ability to bring good in it.  If we are willing to trust him despite our circumstances, he will bring us victory and joy that we’ll never know if we insist on pretending to be in charge of our own lives. Sometimes that may look like a flashy miracle; most of the time it will look more like a coincidence or a surprise happy ending.  May I never insist that my expectations are met and miss the awesome adventure of knowing and loving God.  May I never settle for less than what he has planned for me.

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