Devotion in Motion: When Bad Things Happen, Part 6

3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. ~ Ruth 2:3

“The Divine Domino Effect”

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

When my mother was a young woman in the early 1950’s, she worked as a secretary. One day when she came to work, there was a young man under her desk. He had a can of paint and was painting her desk.  The young man had beautiful blue eyes, and my mother was quite taken by him. Evidently the young man liked her too, because he came back and painted her desk every day.

He put so many coats of paint on her desk that it never dried properly. Finally the people in the office had to put her desk in the alley so someone could scrape the paint off of it. The young woman and the young man  (from under her desk) started dating, and eventually they got married. Later on, my sister Cathie was born, and 5 ½ years later, I was born. We’re the children of the secretary and the man from under her desk. And we became a joyful family.

Now think with me for a minute. What if my dad had not painted my mom’s desk? What if he had called in sick that morning? What if my dad’s boss had ordered another man to paint my mom’s desk? My goodness! I would have never been! You’d be reading another columnist right now. The events of the past make possible the events of the future, in sort of a “Divine Domino Effect.”

If you’ve never read the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, you really ought to. It’s a short little book and a beautiful love story. And it’s a great example of how God blesses the events in our lives — even the difficult ones – through the Divine Domino Effect.

When the story opens, Ruth is childless, and she’s a widow. She is also living in the time of a famine, and she and her mother-in-law are near starvation. But then, as the lesson text (at the top) says, “she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz.” And she marries Boaz, and they have a baby. And Ruth’s great-grandson is King David. And David’s descendant is the Lord Jesus, who is the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that salvation came into the world by way of the major reversals Ruth had in her life. And though it seemed to Ruth that she “happened” to meet Boaz, I will always believe that this was part of God’s eternal plan. You see, often what we think of as the normal flow of events or coincidences are really the fruit of God’s planning and direction. Albert Einstein once said “Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

So if you’re going through something hard this week, keep your chin up. Don’t focus on what’s wrong at the moment, but realize that today’s events are leading to something wonderful in God’s eternal purposes. He loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for your life.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is in the middle of his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 21) and Seth (age 18) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Lord surely blesses His children.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to