Two weeks ago my husband lost his job. They said it wasn't financially feasible to keep him on staff. Were we surprised? Not really. Mostly because we saw it coming, and mostly because God has been doing some amazing things in our hearts this year and it seems to fit right in line with what He's been teaching us. Sometimes something creeps up inside of me that says, "Of course he lost his job. That's just the way things have been going for us anyway." It seems like the past 6 years we've been climbing hurdle after hurdle, only to face the next big thing. And here we are again--the next big thing.
This little voice inside my head doesn't stick around very long, because if I've learned anything over the past 6 years, it's that God carries me through the tough times, He always provides, and that things like this drive me like a desperate, crazy woman to the feet of Jesus. There's simply nowhere else to go. It's a good place for me to be. I'm learning that all of these struggles are just a special invitation from Him. It's like He's saying to me, "Come and know Me better."
My pastor read this verse from the book of Ruth last week in church and then again tonight...
"And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not." --Ruth 2:16
We've been studying the book of Ruth and how this story paints a picture of a greater story; one in which Jesus redeems us, His bride. When I heard this verse read aloud last week, it stuck with me all week long. And then again, tonight, I thought about how much Boaz loved Ruth and how he didn't want her to glean from the left-overs on the side of the road, but from the best. Handfuls of purpose. His men were to drop handfuls of the good stuff on purpose.
This comforts me, and I'm choosing to believe that even in the hard times my Redeemer is dropping handfuls of purpose for me to glean. These will no doubt sustain me through times of uncertainty. But here's the strange thing--these hard things have purpose, too. Jesus wants me to glean from these, as well; not just from His blessings and provisions. In these handfuls, He provides for me something I can't glean in the good times.