Today I get to speak to an audience which actually has me nervous. An audience which has me second guessing my clothing choice, changing outfits a dozen times. They’re my toughest crowd. They will look me up and down and within the first few seconds they will decide if they will listen or not. My audience … a group of high schoolers. Yes, I’m talking to a large group of Juniors and Seniors and let me tell you they’re a tough audience. I will have the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with them, and in those 30 minutes I get to share the greatest truth … they were each created for a BIG Life. God imagined them in great detail and envisioned the life they could have, then created them and equipped them with every single thing they would need to live it. They lack nothing and nothing they have done has disqualified them from that life.
If you’ve been listening to this podcast for long, you may have heard me share the story of Ruth before, it’s one of my favorites. Ruth is a woman who’s world had fallen apart. Her husband had died and she was now homeless. Not only homeless, but hungry. She was caring for her mother-in-law trying to find enough food for both of them. This woman was in survival mode, just trying to make the best of a really bad situation.
Everything had seemed to go wrong for Ruth. Let’s face it, some crap had happened for Ruth. And that’s life. Hey, crap has happened to all of us and my wild guess is, some more crap may happen in the future. But here’s what we often forget … that crap, that stinky unpleasant and undesirable stuff that happens in your life can serve a tremendous purpose. It can be used as fertilizer. Yes, don’t you know that’s what fertilizer really is … it’s crap. Farmers put piles of poo on their crops to make them grow bigger, faster, stronger. So don’t you think that God in all of his wisdom can lovingly apply piles of poo in your life to make you grow bigger, faster and stronger? After all remember, you were created for a BIG Life and God wants to help you step into that life he envisioned for you when he created you. If a little pile of crap here and there helps the process, then alrighty!
So here’s Ruth, her husband has died, she’s taking care of her mother-in-law who’s husband had also died, and they have nothing. They’re hungry. And that hunger brings us to Ruth chapter 2, verse 2 where Ruth says, “let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up grains of stalk left behind.” Let me go out. Not let me sit here and worry. Not let me lay here and wallow in my mess. Nope – let me go out and do what I can do. It may not be a lot, but at least it will be something.
So, crap happens, we’ve established that, now whatcha gonna do about it? Answer – get up and do what you can do. When you do all you can do, you’ve created an open invitation for God to come in and then do what only he can do.
But what we often do is we sit in our mess, wallow in our pity, rehash how bad it is and we do nothing. Ruth would have starved to death if she would have just sat there. She got up and did what she could do. This is what life requires of us. This is what your future requires of you, and it starts today. Do what you can do. Do everything you can do.
God supplies opportunities in abundance to us, but we often miss them. You know why we miss them? We’re looking for something BIG and we forget that all big things first begin small. We want that BIG breakthrough, that BIG hit, those BIG bucks and God says, nope first be faithful with little, then more will be given to you.
The seed doesn’t look like what it will become. You can easily miss the little thing in front of you that has tremendous potential for your future because it doesn’t look like what you imagined. Today i get to host the #1 women’s devotional podcast in the world, but for 8 years this whole thing looked a whole lot more like a conference call with a handful of sleepy people that would call in and listen to me fumble my way through a scripture and prayer. It appeared unbelievably and embarrassingly unsuccessful, but that was because it was still a seed.
Look at a mighty oak tree. The seed is a tiny acorn. Does the acorn look anything like what it will become? Not at all! And the same is true with the opportunities you are being given in your life. You miss them because they don’t quite look like what you’re searching for. I want a big oak tree, not this little nut. But oh what potential that little nut has inside of it.
Will you be willing to get up and do what you can do today?
Verse 3 of our scripture says “So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz.” So Ruth is out just doing what she could and it says “AND AS IT HAPPENED, she found herself working a field that belonged to Boaz.”
AND AS IT HAPPENED, Ruth found herself in Boaz’s field. Another translation says she “hap upon”. You know what that means? She stumbled into it. She just stumbled into the field of Boaz. The field of someone could help her. She stumbled upon the next step of her destiny.
You see, you and I think destiny and purpose look a lot more like a revelation and a 10 step plan, but most of the time it looks a lot more like “as it happened and we stumbled into it.”
Listen to me – God allows us to stumble into some of our greatest blessings in life. When we are willing to go out and do what we can do, we position ourselves to just stumble right into something miraculous. You can stumble your way into a career. I did that. You can stumble your way into opportunities, I’ve done that countless times.
Ruth just happened to be in the right field at the right time for the right person to notice her, and this person had the ability to bless her. She stumbled into it. But first she got out and did what she could do in the middle of a really bad situation. Boaz took care of Ruth. He lined up special blessings for her – more food than she could gather.
Is this what you’re looking for? You’re ready to discover your purpose in life. You’re ready to live that BIG Life you were created for. If you will make the most out of every situation, if you will show up and be faithful with what you do have, if you will remember all big things first begin small, just like Ruth, you will get there. Get out there. Go out and do what you can do today with what you have, don’t be afraid of some work, and then don’t be surprised when you just stumble into something miraculous.