Tuesday, March 12, 2013

behind the scenes of our lives

maybe it's because i have recently seen years of 'behind the scenes' work bearing fruit in my own life...

maybe it's because it was a familiar story with a female heroine...

maybe it's because i was just reading a part of the same story in my weekly bible study {i love it when that happens}...

maybe it's just because i haven't actually been to a worship service in weeks {one of the tough things about working for a church}...

whatever the reason - last sunday's message settled deep and has been running through me ever since.

ruth - faithful, loyal, servant-hearted, redeemed ruth.

if you read her story {and you should...it won't take you long} you find her mother-in-law breathing these words after both of the women had lost their husbands and left their home...

it's true.  life could have been characterized as bitter and empty for ruth and naomi but it wasn't a case of God 'dealing' with them.  oh no.  He didn't lead their story to a dark dead-end of loss and grief.  He kept walking that road with them until His work was complete...until He had made the bitterness taste sweet and the empty places filled to overflowing.
God had a plan.  God always has a plan.

as ruth spoke those well-known words and packed her life up to head for foreign soil i wonder if she had any inkling that God was about to make history with her life...

her eyes forever turned from the false gods of her moabite ancestors and fixed themselves on the one true God who created her to carry forth the lineage of jesus christ.

the scene that played out could have never been orchestrated by ruth herself.  she finds herself childless and without a husband, leaves her people, sets her gaze on God, remains faithful to her mother-in-law, works hard to provide for her, is noticed by boaz {who consequently is the kinsman-redeemer who was in the unique position to actually give her a new start}, becomes his wife, and then...oh, it takes my breath away...

and that holy line of history continued weaving it's way through time until...

and on that day that our savior took his first breath on this earth the bitter-turned-sweet life of ruth became that much sweeter.  God's plan took a giant leap forward and He had used the broken life of a widowed moabite woman to get there.

sometimes our circumstances don't match up with what God is actually doing in our lives...behind the scenes.  the story is so big and powerful and yet chapters that we live sometimes feel so small and fragile.  and then one day all the hidden work that was being done lands us smack dab in the middle of the stage with our face flooded in light.  and what our audience sees is Him...only Him...shining up through the cracks of our broken places.

on sunday my pastor put perfect words to an idea that has been stirring in my heart for some time now...

don't live your life seeking to be discovered, 
but to be developed.
God is faithful to His promises, 
not our performances.

how's your development going?