Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scarf on a Plane

One of the things on my list of things to do before having kids is to learn how to knit. I received some knitting needles and yarn a couple years ago for Christmas and began a scarf but never finished it. Recently, I decided to start attacking this goal. Last week I took a business trip to Arizona and spent a total of 7+ hours in plane travel. Knitting is the perfect activity to keep busy when you can't go anywhere or do anything or talk to anyone (I sat next to a guy who couldn't speak English). Needless to say, I had enough time to complete my scarf.

Unfortunately, we're one the verge of summer, so it will be awhile before this gets much use. I've started working on a crocheting project that I started a few years ago as well. If I get ambitious enough, I may even try knitting some baby items. I have a friend who has inspired me with her creations in that arena.

Since I actually finished this early on my return flight, I decided to do a little reading for the remaining of the trip and grabbed a little book from my backpack called "A Sweet and Bitter Providence" by John Piper. He goes through each of the four chapters in the book of Ruth, reflecting on the significance of the different events and how they point to the overall sovereignty and providence of God not only personally in the lives of Naomi and Ruth, but also as it relates to the genealogy of Christ the Messiah.

I love the story of Naomi and Ruth! God takes a sad situation and by the end of the story works it together for good. Of course, the whole time I was reading this book, the author would make comments that, upon me internalizing them, would make me start getting all teary-eyed and sniffling. Comments like:
"Just as surely as God brought the famine, God took it away. Naomi could see that. But she could not see all that God was doing. Later she will be able to look back, in the same way we can when we read the book a second time, and see the pointers of hope."
 "One of the main messages of this book is that God is at work in the worst of times."
"Not only does God reign in all the affairs of men, and not only is his providence sometimes hard, but in all his purposes his purposes are for good and the greater happiness of his people."
These sounds like some of the Christian cliches, but as I was reading this story, I could see how God was working in the lives of these people. Knowing the end of the story probably makes it easier to see.

The text that most caught me off guard was at the end of the book of Ruth. At the beginning of the story, she had been married for 10 years when her husband died, but they had never conceived. For all intents and purposes, she was barren. At the end of the story, she gets married to Boaz:

"So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went into her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son." (Ruth 4:13)

The Lord gave her conception.

That statement just made me think of how conception occurs under many different circumstances:
  • The teenage couple messing around and accidentally getting pregnant. 
  • The young married couple that got pregnant before they had a chance to think about it.
  • The established couple who made calculated choices to get pregnant.
  • The divided couple where one didn't want children and the other did and they got pregnant.
  • The woman who was raped under horrible conditions and got pregnant.
  • The barren couple who tried for years and when they had finally given up, they got pregnant.
Why does he give it to some and not others? And why does he give it in situations that are not desirable? Why not reserve the barrenness for the situations in which it is least wanted? I do not know. But no matter how it happens, one thing is sure. God gave the conception. It was not going to happen without His providence and purpose.

So, in my case, if it's in God's plan, he will do it. Oh the waiting...

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