Sunday, March 8, 2009

Astounded by God's Provision

"Have you ever been astounded by God’s provision? If so, what were the circumstances?”

I came across this question last week while doing my lesson for our women’s study of the book of Ruth. We were studying Ruth chapter 2, where something astonishing happens. In order for you to understand how truly amazing it is, let me briefly set the scene.

Ten years earlier, Naomi and her husband left their home and journeyed with their sons to a foreign country. While there, tragedy struck—Naomi’s sons and husband die. Naomi despairs until she hears that the Lord has visited His people in Bethlehem (literally “house of bread”), and she decides to return home. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, pledges lasting faithfulness to Naomi and travels many miles with her to a land where she knows no one and has no promise of security or provision. Ruth and Naomi have only a strong faith in God and a willingness to follow where He leads.

Soon after their arrival in Bethlehem, Ruth asks Naomi’s permission to go to a field and pick up leftover grain, so they will have something to eat. Naomi says yes.

In the next twenty verses, God pours out His providence and provision on Ruth and Naomi in a way they never could have imagined. Here are the highlights:

  • When Ruth sets out to work, she “happens upon” the field of Boaz, who is a distant relative of her deceased husband (v. 3).

  • Boaz, a wealthy landowner, just so happens to be personally visiting this particular field on this day (v. 4).

  • When he hears of Ruth’s character, Boaz invites Ruth not just to glean in his fields, but to work alongside his harvesters (vv. 5–13).

  • Boaz then invites Ruth to lunch (usually reserved for hired workers), where he gives her plenty to eat and even allows her to take the leftover grain (vv. 14‑16).

  • After working in the fields till evening, Ruth discovers—to her amazement—that she has gleaned 30 pounds of barley! (vv. 17–23). To put this into perspective, the average day’s portion was around 2 pounds.
So in the span of one day, God has provided Ruth with a job, abundant food, security, friends, and—we find out soon—the man who will become her husband, with whom she will have a son who is the grandfather of King David, the forefather of Jesus Christ.


Fast-forward to 2009. Many of you know that one year ago, God called our family to make our home in Sendera Ranch and start a church in this community, where we knew no one and had no promise of security or provision. We had only a strong faith in God and willingness to follow where He led.

In the span of one year, God has not only provided for our family in astounding ways (I have so many stories I could share!), but He is drawing together the body of Christ at The Church at Sendera Ranch in ways that are abundantly beyond anything we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

Here are the highlights:
  • When we needed a location for our first gathering, we “so happened” to find a preschool right by our neighborhood where we could meet—for free.

  • When our congregation outgrew that location, God provided a local elementary school, where we could expand our ministry and reach a larger community.

  • Whenever we have had ministry needs, God has provided servant-hearted people to fill these roles—such as our amazing worship leader and praise team!

  • When we prayed for a location closer to Sendera Ranch, God worked out the details for us to meet in Premier Academy—a brand-new Christian preschool with top-notch children’s classrooms and a flexible meeting schedule—giving us even more opportunities to reach people in our community.

This morning, more than fifty people participated in our Belong class, coming to join the many others who are excited about being part of what God is doing here at The Church at Sendera Ranch. And every week, God continues to abundantly provide for the church He is forming here, bringing people to TCASR and knitting together our church family as we faithfully serve Him, grow in Him, and together change lives for good here in our community.


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