As I was doing my Advent devotional today (which was about Ruth), I was struck by something. There are only two books of the Bible named after women, and both of those books seem so different from many of the others. The book of Ruth just seems so mundane. Nothing extraordinary or miraculous (at first glance.) The book of Esther is one of the few in the Bible that doesn't even mention God's name. Without an understanding of the sovereignty of God it seems He's not even in the book (but we know better, don't we?) And I was really struck by how much that is so like women, or well, at least this woman. We look at things and compare them to something else and what we have, where we are, always seems so much less, so much more mundane and nothing special than what everyone else has. It's easy to look at our lives in comparison to someone else's and think, "God is doing so much there, why isn't He doing anything here?" It's so easy to get lost in the everyday dishes, work, laundry, and mess that we don't see the hand of God guiding each moment, giving us gift after gift, and setting things in place just "so" in order that He may be glorified.
Both of these books seem that way to, when you only read them once or just glance through them to get that reading plan finished. But, both books scream of God's sovereignty, wisdom, provision, and love for us. Do we really think that Ruth "just happened" to end up in the field of the ONLY man who could be her kinsman-redeemer? Do we really miss that amazing picture of what Christ came to do for us? Do we see length God went to in order to bring His son to rescue and redeem His people? Do we miss how clearly God shows us that any and all are welcome, even a Moabite widow? Do we miss that the Son of God came from that line of Ruth and Boaz? How could we say there is nothing miraculous in this story? The same way we miss the miracles all around us everyday. We miss it when all we see is a sink of dirty dishes, clothes piled next to the laundry basket, a workload we don't even want to think about, and a calendar that barely leaves time to breathe, let alone spend time with our Creator. I am as guilty as any when it comes to this. Do we know how much of a miracle it is that any of us can even have children? What a miracle it is that we wake up each morning? Everything around us is a miraculous gift from a Creator who loves us more than we could ever ask or imagine.
And what about the book of Esther? I have a hard time reading that book and not seeing God's fingerprints all over it, but don't I fail to see God's fingerprints in my life everyday? I constantly think He's not there, not listening, not working, not moving. But is He? Yes! He is always in control, even when I don't see it or feel it. I cannot doubt that when I look back and see His fingerprints, so I must believe His fingerprints are there right now, too, even though I cannot see them, yet.
There's really nothing deep or theological here, I just thought it was so amazing that our God knows us so well. He gave us two books, named after women, that totally fit the way women think and feel...well, at least fit the way I think and feel. I never really thought about it until this morning and it was just another reason to praise my God. Lord, thank You for Your word. Thank You for knowing us and loving us, despite our sin. Thank You for showing me that You are always in control and You are moving at all times, even when I don't see it! Thank You for reminding me that there are miracles happening all around me, everyday, if I would only take the time to see them.