I have always admired Naomi and Ruth’s relationship as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.  In my opinion, too often mothers-in-law get a bad rap.

I, however, was blessed with the best mother-in-law in the world. She always told me, “If I could have chosen my son’s wife, I would have chosen you.” We were very close.

In this Bible story, Ruth made her home in a foreign land. She left her father and mother and her own land to live among complete strangers and showed love and kindness to her mother-in-law after both were widowed.

I remember leaving my family and homeland in northeast Iowa to move to the big city of Des Moines after we were married. My husband Mark’s family lived here and they warmly welcomed me. I knew no one else – until we found a church home.

The characters in the book of Ruth are classic examples of good people in action. Boaz went far beyond the intent of the gleaners’ law in demonstrating his kindness and generosity. Not only did he let Ruth glean in his field he also told his workers to let some of the grain fall in her path. Out of his abundance, he provided for the needy.

Naomi had felt bitter, but her faith in God was still alive, and she praised God for Boaz’s kindness to Ruth. In her sorrows, she still trusted God and acknowledged his goodness. We may feel bitter about a situation, but we must never despair.

Although Ruth may not have always recognized God’s guidance, he had been with her every step of the way. She went to glean and “just happened” to end up in the field owned by Boaz who “just happened” to be a close relative. This was more than mere coincidence. 

As you go about your daily tasks, God is working in your life in ways you may not even notice. We must not close the door on what God can do. Events do not occur by luck or coincidence. We should have faith that God is directing our lives for his purpose.

Around Hope, we say, “We believe it’s “no accident” you’re here.”

Questions for reflection:

  1. How often do you go beyond the accepted patterns of providing for those less fortunate?
  2. Do you do more than the minimum for others?
  3. In your life sorrows, do you still trust God and acknowledge his goodness?
  4. In what ways is today a new opportunity for experiencing God’s care?
  5. Have you ever been in a worship service when you felt “it was no accident” that you were there?