It's been a few weeks since the last Five Minutes devotional was published on our website. The reason for that? I was busy spending time with my newborn daughter in the NICU.
A few hours after she was born, we took her for a routine check-up at the hospital (pediatrician couldn't get us in) and found ourselves going from the ER to the NICU in a short amount of time. My daughter's liver and spleen were enlarged and the doctor's had no idea why (they still really don't have an answer). As the week went on, more and more potential diagnoses were knocked off their list as more and more blood work came back. All the while my daughter improved and a week after we got to the NICU, we went home with our beautiful little girl.
Today's reading from Ruth 4:1-22 is a story with a happy ending. The book of Ruth begins in heartbreaking fashion with the deaths of a husband and two sons, but from that moment onward we are shown the provision of God in the life of Ruth and Naomi. The book even ends with a look towards God's provision towards the future mentioning King David and the continuing genealogy that eventually brings us to Jesus.
There are time in our life where we will identify more with Naomi, feeling sorrowful, defeated, and beat down by the world. Other times we will feel like Naomi does at the end of the book of Ruth, hopeful and filled with joy at how life has turned out. Regardless of the stage of life you find yourself in, the book of Ruth is an Old Testament reminder of the constant presence and working of God in the lives of His children. God still works in the bad to bring about good for His people (Rom. 8:28; James 1:2-4).
Think of a trying time in your past. How did God provide for you in that instance?
Starting today, write down the specific things you pray for in a journal. Try to update it as much as possible throughout the passing days, weeks, and months. At the end of the year (or even after just a few months) you'll be able to look back and see how God has answered your prayers.
This action takes a bit more work than usual, but is quite rewarding and a beautiful reminder of God's providence for you, His child.