Updated: Jul 13, 2022
To say “the world we live in is uncertain,” would be a huge understatement. Since Covid, the world seems to be changing at an unprecedented rate.
Gary Stix, the senior editor for “The scientific American” argues that, “If the pandemic had not happened, the model used by the researchers estimated there would have been 193 million cases of major depressive disorder worldwide, whereas an estimated 246 million cases actually occurred, a 28 percent increase, or an added 53 million cases.”
This is a shocking revelation about the global state of our worry. Anxiety has already been a growing problem. This is evidenced by the rise of doomsday prepping, and other stockpiling measures, where people are trying to take their future into their own hands.
While planning is certainly not sinful (Luke 14:28-32), living in anxiety about the things we cannot control is (Matthew 6:25-34). Where does this anxiety come from?
Why do we worry about events that are far beyond our control?
I believe the second chapter of Ruth has some amazing insight into this question.
In this story Ruth has just arrived in Bethlehem from Moab with her mother in-law Naomi. The two women have lost their whole family. Naomi’s two sons are dead, along with her husband. To make matters worse they are living in the morally darkest era in Israelite history (Judges 21:25). It is dangerous, they have no way to seriously provide for themselves, and Naomi blames God (Ruth 1:21). So, Ruth is forced to use pick up barley that has fallen over, and try to harvest the sick plants on the edge of the fields.
This looks bleak.
Yet, like the smell of breakfast on a Saturday morning, God’s subtle sovereignty in verse 3 gets us ready for what he is about to do next. Ruth “happened” to be in the field of a man who could take care of all of Ruth’s - and Naomi’s - problems. God had organized this whole thing to take care of them.
Boaz (this man) takes a special liking to Ruth and sends her home with 22 liters of barley. When Ruth gets home Naomi informs her of how much this man could change both of their lives, by redeeming them. God didn’t haphazardly place Ruth in any field, she was right where she needed to be.
Often times it is easy for us to read stories like this in the Bible and remove it from reality. Yet God really does work this way. God is working this way in you right now. The truth is you, just so “happened” to be; in a specific family, at a specific job, in a specific neighborhood, the age you are, etc.
God has brought you to a specific place because it just so happens, that He is going to do something in your life. When we fail to realize that God is actually doing something in our lives we will miss out on the moments when he just so happens to put us in the perfect time and place to be unleashed for his glory.
God used an ordinary moment for an extraordinary purpose.
God is the one doing something amazing here.
Yet, we are too easily tricked into believing the lie that we control our own destiny. It’s easy to believe, I got an A on the test because I am smart, or I have the salary I do because I work harder than anyone else.
Tim Keller, the former pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian says this,
“if you have money, power, and status today, it is due to the century and place in which you were born, to your talents and capacities and health, none of which you earned. In short, all your resources are in the end the gift of God.”
That couldn’t be more true. Everything we have been given is a resource that God has given us.
Your future isn’t held together by you. It never has, it doesn’t now, and it never will. But the good news is we don’t have to. God has graciously provided all we will ever need.
I want to leave you with a question, what fields have you happened to find yourself in?