"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

December 12, 2013

Extraordinary Ordinary: Advent Dec. 12

"But Ruth replied, 'Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God'."  -Ruth 1: 16

I don't know why, but I think the story of Ruth is one of my favorites from the Bible.  It might be because I have this memory that always runs through my head of the version performed by the cast of Focus On The Family's Adventures In Odyssey.  

Because really, if you just read the story of Ruth, there aren't any battles, and there aren't any amazing miracles.  It just looks like a plain-Jane story.

There's a famine, so a man and wife and their two sons move to a different country.  The sons marry, the father dies, then the sons die, leaving mom and two daughter-in-laws.  Mom (Naomi) decides there is nothing left for her in Moab and it's time to go back to Israel.

So Naomi and the two girls start their journey.  But something like bitterness is eating away at Naomi.  I can feel that feeling.  When nothing seems to be going your way and you kind of just want to wallow in your pain, and if there is more pain to be had you want it to happen right now, because if you're going to be hurt you might as well get it all over with at once.

So Orpah goes back to start over, probably find a new husband.  Big. Deal.

But Ruth refuses to leave Naomi.  She chooses a life of uncertainty and poverty.  And God.

I long to say something that desperately loving to someone.  "Wherever you go, I will go."

What a gift that was to Naomi.  She loses everyone else, but gains a faithful-to-the-end daughter-in-law.  Up to this point, there is nothing special about this woman.  She has been living in the mundane, she is mundane.  But with that declaration, she begins to shine out as extraordinary.

The story of Ruth doesn't need any big battle scenes or extravagant miracles.  Much of life isn't that way either.  Our every day is filled with the everyday.  We might not think that we are fighting battles or seeing miracles, but they are there.

Ruth fought a battle, one in her mind.  She probably had doubts of either path she could have taken, but she saw hope in Naomi and her God.  She didn't perform any extravagant miracles, like healing a person's limbs or bringing a person back from the dead.  But she did bring healing to Naomi's bitter soul over time with her faithfulness and love.

And this average woman, Ruth, she gets grafted in to the family history of Jesus because of her extraordinary gift of faithfulness to Naomi.

I don't usually see the battles or miracles that happen every day.  But that is something that I was trying to be more aware of today.

We think that Christmas is a celebration of this big event, the Savior coming as a baby.  It is, but it is also a celebration of the simple miracles and little victories that happen in our lives every day.  The ones that God uses to lead to the bigger miracles and victories.  And they all lead back to Him.

And that is what I notice when I s.l.o.w. d.o.w.n. in this season of chaos.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely! "Our every day is filled with the everyday"! Also, the thought of Ruth bringing Naomi's bitter true and thoughtful that you bring this truth out. Ruth holds a special place in my heart which I talk about on my blog, all starting with a Bible Identity Quiz that leads to my personal appreciation for Ruth. There's much here in your post to appreciate. Again...lovely.