One of the things we deeply desire in times of uncertainty is to know God is in control. We want to see how God is moving in the circumstances of our lives. The test of faith is we often cannot see clearly how God is working. While on rare occasions God works through miraculous means, the vast majority of the time God works through ordinary events and through ordinary people, and we may not be able to see it at the time.
This is why I have always been moved by the Old Testament book of Ruth. It is a story about ordinary people in a small, seemingly insignificant town in Israel. There are no miracles in the book of Ruth; seas don’t part, axe heads don’t float, and no one is raised from the dead. There are no prophets or kings or mighty hero-warriors. The main characters are two widows and a farmer. And there are only a few references to God. And yet, God is the main character in the book of Ruth.
The story is all about how God works through the mundane events of life to bring about extraordinary acts of salvation. It would only be long after the events depicted in the book people were able to look back and realize that through Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz came King David, who God would choose and anoint to not only lead Israel, but ultimately to be the ancestor of the Messiah.
But at the time, none of the people involved would have recognized any of this. They were trusting in God for their next meal and hoping for provision and sustenance for the days and weeks to come. Yet God was still behind the scenes working in ways that they could never imagine.
I find the book of Ruth attractive because that is how God works in our lives. It helps us to understand that, more often than not, we will not see clearly how God is at work in the mundane events of our lives. But just because we cannot see God at work does not mean that God is not at work.
No, God is very much working to bring about acts of salvation that we may never understand on this side of eternity.
We can trust that there are no people, no situations, and no places too insignificant for God to use. We may think our lives small and mundane, yet God can work through our lives to bring about the extraordinary. Nothing and no one is too small for the work of God.
Rev. Clint McBoom is a regular faith columnist for The Tribune.