“Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5
This is the first time we have lived next door to farmland and I’ve grown to appreciate the barren fields of a farmer’s life. To be unabashedly honest, when we first moved here, I would drive by those fields and glance at them with a disinterested nod. Oddly, I’m beginning to see the beauty in those flat treeless fields with straight lines of plowed earth.
We moved here mid summer during a scorching heat wave with record-breaking high temps that made Arizona seem a cool place to be. The farm lands looked depressed lined with dead dry stalks. Then fall arrived with a picture book view of splendorous colors surrounding the brown fields. My husband and I began to prepare ourselves for the biting chill of winter soon to arrive. There was great delight when the harsh gray days were brightened by the sparkling glare of white snow covering those acres of barren fields.
Finally, spring is here. Trees are beginning to bud, daffodils splash bright yellow and orange colors surrounding strong leafless oaks and front lawns are bursting new with the fresh green color of vibrant life. The colors remind me that the fields are waiting for harvest to come. It reminds me that what God has promised, will indeed come true, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)
I can’t wait for God to make all things new. For those barren fields to show new life, ready for the harvest. I can’t wait for God to make all things new in our lives, which can seem at times like a barren field. It is good to have our hearts turned and plowed. To feel the tug of the Holy Spirit groaning in our prayers; our efforts to grow are delayed by drought. Our hope is in the Lord, as we worship Him, to make all things new.
I’ve been reading through the book of Ruth over and over again. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read this book and every time I finish reading it, I have a deep contented feeling, to inhale and exhale a deep hopeful sigh of relief and joy. In terms of storytelling, the story of Ruth begins with tragedy…pain, sadness, and bitterness yet it’s one of the most beautifully written love stories in the Bible that shows the providence of God; demonstrating his glory by way of his justice, kindness, and faithfulness to keep his promise, to make all things new.
There is a famine in the land. The barren fields have gone through the seasons of waiting for a harvest…a season of new things that will not come. There will be no harvest until there is a change in the people’s heart to love God and desire to honor him more than anything else. So much time goes by and the barren fields become parched, cracked and dead from lack of rain. This harsh reality and existence takes the lives of three men. The wives of these men, Ruth, her sister-in-law, Orpah and her mother-in-law, Naomi, have become widowed.
What begins as a heartbreaking story ends as a fairy tale of living happily ever after, only this is not a fairy tale, although I imagine that Ruth had hopes that her dreams of a knight in shining armor would come true. Finally, there is celebration and delight in worshiping the one true God. The rains came.
God causes the rain to pour down and the place where barren fields once were are now rich with all things new. Eventually, Ruth and her mother-in-law travel back to the place where God has deliberately shown that He is in control.
Through the providence of God, Ruth meets her “knight in shining armor” by way of a brave and courteous announcement of her presence. God has been designing this introduction for many years already. I love the fact that God writes a magnificent love story! While reading this awesome story, I pray to become more like Ruth. To live my life story in anticipation of God making all things new. I appreciate Ruth’s bravery to glean from the harvest that God has caused to grow. She is bold and self-confident and trusts a wiser and older woman, Naomi, to coach her. I value her humbleness in listening to wise counsel.
As the story of Ruth unfolds, we read that she left her home for a greater purpose. Even though Ruth had no idea what was before her, she packed up and moved because she believed God had called her to something greater…the “something greater” was to worship God alone. Ruth met her beloved kinsman redeemer, her knight in shining armor while gleaning from the harvest that occurred after a dry season of barren drought. God rescued her by providing a “knight in shining armor”…a redeemer! I love this picture of God’s ultimate kindness and grace towards us.
This causes me to ponder…
I place myself into the story of Ruth. I am rescued.
When the fields are barren, this is the time to worship God.
When I glean from the fields, this is the time to worship God.
The story of Ruth begins with barren fields and ends with rich crops of grain and a bountiful harvest. A love lost and a love found. She ventures by faith to meet her kind redeemer and through God’s providence becomes linked, in a very significant way, to the genealogy of Christ.
This is me. This is us. We are, by God’s providence, linked to Christ. We are living every day experiencing God making all things new.