I've noticed over the years that a lot of Christians make a big deal about the miraculous. I remember hearing a guy on television years ago say, "Have you experienced your daily miracle?"
Now, it's true that God is a God of miracles, but He most often works through providence rather than the miraculous. Providence is God using natural events to work a supernatural outcome. Things in life might just seem to happen to you, but they were all planned by God, who knew your whole life before you were born.
The story of Ruth is a classic example of God's providence. And the pivotal moment in the book comes when Ruth decides to return to Bethlehem in Judah with her mother-in-law, Naomi, instead of staying in her home country of Moab (see Ruth 1:6-18).
This was actually one of the most decisive moments in history. What happened here topped any other event happening on the world stage at that moment in time. Why? Because if the right decision hadn't been made here, you might as well have told the magi not to come to Bethlehem.
What I mean is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because it was the City of David, His ancestor. And it was called the City of David because David was born there. David was born there because his dad, Jesse, and his dad, Obed, were born there. And Obed was born there because Ruth and Boaz had him there. And Ruth and Boaz had him there because of Ruth's commitment to Naomi that "wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God" (v. 16).
Throughout the rest of the book of Ruth, we see the Lord work together the timing and placing of things so that Ruth married Boaz, and together they had Obed, thus kickstarting the royal line of the Messiah.
God's providence is not just something that happened in Old Testament times; it's something that you and I experience in our daily lives, even if you may not realize it. As Paul put it in Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
God works together everything that happens to you—the natural experiences and circumstances you face—for a supernatural outcome. When something happens to you, God never says, "Oh no, what am I going to do now?" He knew it was coming, and He says, "This is perfect. I'm going to weave this together for My supernatural purposes." By that token, all the events and little happenstances of your life become the will of God unfolded. What better way to kick off the new year than by realigning your heart with that great truth?