The beautiful thing about the New Year is the prospect of new beginnings. 2018 definitely had its highs and lows and for some people, they couldn’t wait for it to end. Not that they were unable to start over midway; there is that notion that a New Year comes with its blessings and so they waited for it with anticipation.
To borrow the words of Edith Lovejoy Pierce: ‘We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Speaking of new beginnings, consider the narrative in the book of Ruth. Ruth, a lady from Moab, had been married to a man from the tribe of Judah from Bethlehem. She not only lost her husband but her father-in-law and her brother-in-law as well. When her mother-in-law Naomi was going back to her country, Ruth asked to go with her. From Naomi’s response, it is evident that she was taken aback by the request.
‘Return home my daughter, why would you come with me. Am I going to have any more sons who could become your husbands? I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me, even if I had a husband tonight and gave birth to sons, would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them?’ (Ruth 1:11-13).
But Ruth does not want to turn back and her response says as much. ‘Don’t urge me to leave you, or turn from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried’. (Ruth 1:16).
Her desire for a fresh start is clear. What we see later is a new beginning that leads to her being in the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, instead of looking at the circumstances that surrounded her past, I want to look at the principles that grounded her future.
1. The right place
As Ruth settled in Bethlehem and found work gleaning behind harvesters, it turned out she was working in a field belonging to Boaz who was from the clan of Elimeleck (her late father-in-law).
2. The right time
As Ruth was working in the field belonging to Boaz, just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and took notice of Ruth and wanted to know about her.
3. The right people
As Boaz asked about Ruth; the overseer had all the information concerning Ruth – where she came from, her hard work and her reputation of standing with her bereaved mother-in-law.
Boaz goes ahead to ask the men not to touch her but actually even drop some harvest so that she can glean more. The romantic story ends with Boaz buying the properties that belonged to Naomi’s husband and her sons and marries Ruth and upon bearing children, her lineage is sustained. The book of Ruth ends with a core highlight – Ruth and Boaz gave birth to Obed, Obed was the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of King David – the ancestor of Jesus.
Often times, we like beginning the year with resolutions which are normally intended to guide us on what we want to achieve. From the story of Ruth, we can start this year with a prayer that God would guide us to be at the right place, at the right time and with the right people (destiny connectors). As you seek new beginnings, let God be at the centre of it all.