by Allison Martin
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Ruth really should’ve had a podcast. Somebody dropped the ball on that one-
they were invented about 3,000 years too late. Her story has inspiration written
all over it. I think my day would go a lot differently if she was giving me a pep talk
When Ruth’s alarm clock went off and she began preparing for the day ahead,
she wasn’t just going to work. Her morning commute to the fields wasn’t one of
dread, but anticipation. Boaz had left something for her to pick up. You’ll find it in
Ruth 2:16. I love what the Bible calls it- handfuls of purpose. She wasn’t just going to scrounge up whatever she could find. She was going to discover what he had specifically set aside for her that day. She would not come back empty handed, because someone had gone ahead to make sure blessings awaited her. How could she dread going to work when there were opportunities out there with her name on them? I imagine every day was like a kid on Christmas morning- “I can’t wait to see what He’s got for me today!”
Can you say the same about your daily responsibilities? Or did Ruth catch onto something that we missed?
We all long to do something that matters. No matter our career or ambitions or season of life, that desire burns in us. It is a stamp of the One whose image we were created in. Everything God does is meaningful. And we long to see that meaning not just in our life as a whole, but in what we do every day. But we have such a narrow perspective on where and when we can do those “meaningful”
things. So we trudge through our days, hating our jobs or discontent with the season of life we’re in. We find no joy or real purpose in our daily responsibilities. Darkness finds us lying awake at night, dreaming of a life that would fulfill us. So what are we missing?
Did a God of purpose really ordain us to walk through a meaningless season? Is today irrelevant to the purpose God has for my life as a whole? I don’t think so.
Our lives are made up of thousands of days just like today. If today has no purpose, then at what point does my daily life start to matter? When I’m married? When I finish my degree? When I get my dream job?
What if you enter into marriage or get your diploma or land that job, just to be haunted by that feeling that your purpose is still dangling out in the unknown future somewhere?
Here’s my theory- that haunting feeling is nothing less than a lie from the enemy of our purpose, meant to cripple us from living out the potential that God places in our path every day.
Satan has painted us a convincing picture of what our lives will look like when they start to matter, and we fell for it. His scheme ensures that we will never view our daily opportunities in any eternal light. It has accomplished its mission, and robbed us of our passion. We despise the mundane and trample over our handfuls of purpose. We have set God’s boundaries where He can use us and where He can’t. We have decided for Him what matters in light of eternity and what does not. And we live miserable and unfulfilled, because we were wrong.
Can we be honest about our flawed perspective for a minute?
Starting an orphanage matters, but getting to influence the next generation for 40 hours a week doesn’t.
Missionary work in a foreign country matters, but the testimony you live out every day in the workplace doesn’t.
Praying with someone for salvation matters, but living out Jesus every single day in front of your kids doesn’t.
Writing a book matters, but transforming someone’s day and maybe someone’s life with a word of encouragement doesn’t.
A leadership position at church is important, but discipling someone through the power of a Christ centered friendship isn’t.
Friends, we’ve got this all wrong.
We have grossly underestimated God’s presence in the everyday. And honestly, I get it. Herding kids into the minivan or rushing to make appointments doesn’t feel very spiritual. You’ll probably never jump out of bed because you get to grade biology tests or pay bills. There’s very little that seems meaningful about that. But I believe if you’ll pray until God’s showed you a deeper purpose, you’ll find that there’s more to what you do than just grading tests or paying bills. I can say with confidence that God is trying to change eternity through you, right where you’re at. And when you find out how, it’s the spark that sets your passion on fire. It’s hard not to get excited about that.
There is nothing glamorous about a wheat field. Aching muscles and dusty sweat stains aren’t very appealing. But it’s where Ruth found her purpose. Everyone else was just doing their job, counting down the hours and hating how slowly they went by. But not Ruth.
Imagine with me as dusk brings the work day to a creeping halt. There’s hundreds of workers milling around. They just want to go home. They’re exhausted from another day of just surviving, and dread the thought of doing it all again tomorrow. You’ll recognize Ruth when you see her. Her shoulders hunch slightly from exhaustion, but her face positively shines. Her hands are calloused and her heart is full. Can’t you see the tears brimming in her eyes? From humble awe or the dusty streaks of sweat, I don’t know. Maybe both. It might just look like a sack of wheat to you. But she had found a treasure. She had discovered in that day exactly what her Provider had left for her to find.
She was living completely and totally right where God had placed her for the day.
My prayer is that God would open your eyes to see the purpose lying untouched
all around you.
Wherever you go everyday, go there with purpose. Whoever you talk to, speak with purpose.
Pray until God shows you how He is accomplishing something for eternity through it.
You’re not just answering phones and doing paperwork. You’re a beacon of hope, awakening a longing in those around you to know the God that you know.
You’re not just changing diapers and wiping noses. You’re shaping the next generation of teachers, missionaries, and pastors.
You’re not just sweeping floors and fighting a never ending war of laundry. You’re creating a safe haven for those you love, where Christ can be known and experienced.
I’ve challenged myself not to go to Bethel Chapel Christian School every day just to teach the basics of addition and the difference between long and short vowels. I will not limit God’s purpose just to algebraic equations and sentence diagrams. I’m going to live out Christ to those who may only meet Him through me. I’m looking for opportunities to share an encouraging word. I have an invitation awaiting the lonely and the friendless. The hurting won’t have to come find me; I’m looking out for them.
I dare to believe that if we take this to heart, it will change our lives. Not because I said it, but because it’s how we were created to live. On purpose.