by Greg Kennedy

Life thumps never seem far off and these thumps have a strange way of accumulating into a staggering burden. We are surprised by discouragement, dejection, and pessimism. We have the hope of the gospel, yet we are not experiencing its power . . . we serve a risen Lord, but we spend a lot of time in the grave. What’s a believer to do? Suck it up? Soldier on? Fake it ’til you make it?

Connie and I have started reading Ruth in our devotions. In the second chapter, Ruth and Naomi are living hand-to-mouth. Scarcity and insecurity are the very air they breathe. Verse 3 caught our eyes. So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.” (NIV) That simple phrase in the middle of that verse “as it turned out” made us reconsider. Coincidence or providence?

When we feel the thumps, maybe instead of sucking it up or caving in, we might simply develop an eye for God’s presence. Connie has shown me that one way I can do this is to cultivate an awareness of the creator through His creation. It amazes me that a cardinal can remind her of God’s presence and love. Another way to develop this eye is to look for God in the events of our days. Ruth has a load of scarcity and insecurity to focus on but the writer sees a providential meeting – a meeting that changed everything, but not yet.

It’s almost impossible not to be influenced by our culture. We want God to shine brightest in the absence of need, but maybe God shines brightest in the midst of our need. Throughout scripture, from the Garden to Golgotha, we see our God shining brightest in darkness. In darkness, amidst the thumps, we are reminded of our unseen abundance, we are introduced anew to grace.

At SonScape we encourage a spirit of radical thankfulness. If your glass is half empty, you could get a smaller glass . . . or maybe, for this next month, you could get one of those tiny notebooks and keep track of the little “as it turned out” events in your life. You may find your glass is no longer running low and you don’t have to settle for a smaller one.