The story of Ruth could very well be your story as well. Perhaps you can identify with the fact that life wasn’t going according to the way she planned it. Her husband passed away. Her father-in-law passed away. Life was falling apart.
Genesis 6 tells us that there was great wickedness on the earth. Sin was so bad that God found it necessary to destroy the inhabitants of the earth. Except for one man and his family. Noah. Why did God find favor in Noah? Scripture says because he was a righteous and blameless man who walked with God (Gen. 6:9). In the middle of a sinful people, Noah stood out. And God’s favor on Noah was a game changer.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23 (NIV)
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84:1-4
A young pilot had just passed the point of no return when the weather changed for the worse. Visibility dropped to a matter of feet as fog descended to the earth. Putting total trust in the cockpit instruments was a new experience to him. The landing worried him the most. His destination was a crowded metropolitan airport he wasn’t familiar with. At that point, he became grateful that his flight instructor made him practically memorize the pilot manual. Then, he heard the voice of the air traffic controller and knew that his landing was now in the hands of this guy. Aware that this was no time for pride, he informed the controller, “This is not a seasoned pro up here. I would appreciate any help you could give me.”
The students in the first period of chemistry filed in for the final exam. The teacher had told them before hand that they could bring on a sheet of paper as much information as they could to help them with the exam. Some came with sheets with small writing on them, others had diagrams and formulas, and others had outlines that had labels for everything. But one student walked in with a sheet of paper and it had no writing at all.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples, “Wait here for the promise.” Something is coming. It’s like telling a child, “Here’s your Christmas gift under the tree, but it’s December 18th, so you’ve got to wait to open it up.” The child is expecting something, but they don’t know what it is. Likewise, the Holy Spirit comes in a way that we don’t expect.
Both the Hebrew word for “Spirit” (RUACH) and the Greek word for “Spirit” (PNEUMA) mean, “wind of heaven; breath of fresh air.” So, it is no wonder that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts 2 is symbolized with a strong wind. How appropriate for the group of followers of Jesus who were probably disappointed that the Messiah who they were following had ascended back to heaven. Why did He leave? What would they do now? Why did He leave them alone? Or did He? Could it be that the solution for their doldrums was the Holy Spirit?
I’ve always loved the verses found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, even before I could understand what they really meant. Now that I’m older, these words still hold a profound place in my heart as a reminder that God has a plan and purpose for my life. Through all the bad and good times in my life, God was working in the background, molding me to be the person I am. Even today, He’s still working in me. Each season of my life is another stepping stone closer to God and His purpose for me.