“Then Boaz said to Ruth, ‘You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.’” Ruth 2:8-9
Ruth left the house that day looking for a field where she could glean and get food for herself and her mother in law Naomi. One could imagine that she might have turned any direction from their home and gone to any field in the land surrounding Bethlehem. I’m guessing that they hadn’t been in town long enough for Ruth to have gained many friends and developed any preferences regarding whose fields she might to work in.
Not long ago one of my boys needed to get a hair cut. As it turns out this was the first time he’d gotten a hair cut near home since we’d moved to Pennsylvania. When we left the house I knew that I could turn almost any direction and within a few minutes find a place to get his hair cut. We’ve never been to any of the barbers shops or hair styling salons in town before so we don’t have a personal preference based on experience. We just have to chose a direction and then chose a place that feels right.
No doubt Ruth’s process was similar. Just chose a direction and go to the field that feels like a good place to start gleaning.
Did you ever wonder why, when you’re in situations like this, one direction feels more right than another. The difference in how you feel might seem imperceptible at the time but it’s enough for you to choose one direction, and then one place, over another.
I think that the difference is God fulfilling his promises. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ’This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Ruth knew that she and Naomi needed food and that was all that was driving her search but God had a bigger picture in mind and he led her to a field where more than one need was fulfilled. In the field Ruth gleaned that day she found acceptance, protection, and provision for other needs she hadn’t been trying to meet.
Ruth’s experience demonstrates the reality of God quietly working in our lives leading, protecting and providing for us in ways to numerous to count. We need to learn a deeper trust and a more complete reliance on the leading of God. God’s always there. He’s always ready to help if we’ll let him.