So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. Ruth 2:3 NLT
It was the late fall of 2012; I was beginning to think about a move to Paris, France. It wasn’t something I ever saw coming. No, if you had asked me where I might live, Paris was NOT one of the places. Maybe, Europe somewhere, but definitely Not France!
But the Lord had opened a door wide for us to move to Paris. I could not deny his hand was on this move. Terrified and yet excited at times, I began to consider how I might make some friends and find fellowship in Paris. I prayed and then I began to look for any kind of English-speaking Bible study that I might find. And then I found a well-known International Bible study with a Paris chapter- the only one in France. So, I took a chance and sent off a note to the administrator of the fellowship. As it happened, Carrie replied to me, she was no longer the administrator of the study, but since a new administrator had not been found, she continued to answer the emails. We communicated off and on for a few months, and then it came time to move to Paris.
Those first few days had been so cold, but it was January, after all. Even the hotel’s heat could not keep up with the freezing temperatures outside. I was so thankful for my new friend, Carrie. I had not yet met Carrie in person, but since we had communicated by email, I felt like I knew her. Carrie had offered to come and get me at my hotel and take me around Paris. She took me on the metro, showed me “the ropes” by giving me lessons on reading the maps, buying tickets, warned me about pickpockets, and then when we were on the opposite side of Paris, Carrie showed me where an English-speaking study met. It was in an apartment of a very dear older French woman. She gave me all the information I needed to attend and then made me navigate us home. What a beautiful memory God’s provision of Carrie had been for me. I had been in Paris for less than five days, and I already had an English-speaking Bible study I could attend. I not only had a friend in Carrie, but the women at the study became my good friends, as well. For the next two years- I was blessed with their friendship and their fellowship-what a miracle! What a God moment!
Years ago, we attended a church where Jill Briscoe was the Bible study teacher. She had a saying that still resonates with me today, for the believer in Jesus, there are no coincidences, only God-incidences! Over the years since then, I have come to see God’s hand upon my life in so many ways. What at one-time might have looked like a coincidence- “it just happened” now is another proof of God’s watch-care on my life.
David Guzik said in his commentary on Ruth, “it says that Ruth happened to come to the field belonging to Boaz, that is how it seemed to her. But it was not how it actually came to pass. Ruth came to that field because God was guiding her.”
Where is God guiding you today? Just like my move to Paris and just like Ruth’s encounter with Boaz, nothing just happens! Watching for God’s activity in your life can clue you into what he is doing- remember there are no coincidences for the believer, only God-incidences!