Text: Ruth 2:18-23, Deuteronomy 7:7-9, Psalm 41:1-3
To a kindergartener, riding the bus is no small thing. In fact, riding the bus seems to be the bookend horror of my education—terrifying when I was 6 and mortifying when I was 16. (Thanks again, Mom and Dad.)
When I was in kindergarten, the buses weren’t identified by numbers, but by animals. I rode the squirrel bus—not to be confused with the chipmunk bus my best friend rode to her house on the other side of town—and was required to wear a luggage tag flaunting an illustrated picture of the animal on my backpack.
Every day at 3 pm, the school bell would ring and we’d file outside to our animal-specific location, and every day I remember the same tears, wailing, and resistance. One fellow kindergartener, a curly-haired boy with a blue backpack, was not happy with his assigned position in the bus-zone zoo. “I WANT TO RIDE THE MANATEE BUSSSS!,” he’d wail until his face matched the color of his backpack.
Now, I don’t know if the appeal of this particular bus was the swimming sea cow itself (understandable), a cute passenger with pigtails, or a problem with the squirrel bus he’d been assigned to (also understandable). But one thing was clear: the boy was decidedly discontent.
I may have kept my cool about the squirrel bus, but I, too, become decidedly discontent more often than I’d care to admit. This is especially true when it comes to the love story of Ruth and Boaz. I mean, promise me a Boaz and my single-girl self will run, not walk, to the closest field and gather grain just like Ruth did. That probably wouldn’t work for me, but does that mean God is a better provider to Ruth than He is to me?
We must decide a few things here: God is either the ultimate Provider, or not at all. He is either in the business of redemption, or He is off the clock altogether. His hand is either strong, or it is weak. He either chose us, or He rejected us. There is no sliding scale according to our worthiness. In fact, His love for us and devotion to us rests on His faithfulness, not ours (Deuteronomy 7:7-9).
No matter where our feet rest, we are always standing in the field of God’s provision.
I’m reminded of the ways the teachers on bus duty tried to reason with Manatee Boy.
They’d say, “That bus isn’t going to take you home, but here’s the one that is!”
The same is true for us. God’s provision is a vehicle to His perfect will. Maybe unexpected kindness comes to you in the form of a Boaz, or maybe it looks a little different—a new job, a needed friend, a resolved conflict. Either way, our strong Provider is always present, giving His children what they need.
Either way, we’re all headed home.