Monday, January 30, 2017

Blessing Through Family

Last night at church, we began a series on Ruth.  It is a story of blessings (and sorrow) through family.  It is a story of a great redemption after a great loss.  It is a story full of hope.  In the story, Naomi loses first her husband and then both of her sons.  She is left in a strange land with only her two daughters-in-law.  She leaves for her homeland, and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, insists on going with her.  The two go back, and are barely making it, when a distant relative makes sure Ruth and Naomi have enough food.  He then marries Ruth, and she gives him a son.  Naomi at first thinks her life is over.  She has lost her husband and sons.  Her only relative is related only by law, and is liable to run off and marry again and forget her.  She feels so empty and bitter that she tells her friends to call her "Bitterness."  Ruth is a widow in a foreign land, scraping by to take care of her mother-in-law.  Boaz is a rich, yet lonely guy, with no wife and no children.  Soon, all that changes.  Ruth is a blessing to Naomi by staying around and taking care of her.  She doesn't go running after men, looking out for a husband to take care of her.  Naomi is a blessing to Ruth, giving her a home and giving her the really good idea to ask this rich, older relative to marry her and take care of her.  Boaz is a blessing to both, marrying Ruth, and making sure Naomi is taken care of.  The son of Ruth and Boaz is a blessing to his parents, as children always are, and he is also a blessing to Naomi, who is now full of joy on account of this baby, and now has a bright future to look forward to.
The encouragement for us here is that things change.  Storms pass.  No matter how bleak things may look today, there is always hope for tomorrow.  Family can be a great challenge and heartache, but family can also be a great blessing; and we can be a great blessing to our families.  It is good to ask ourselves how God might bless our families through us.  It is good, too, to reflect on how God has blessed us through our families, and to thank Him for the storms He's brought us through.  If you are currently in a storm and a time of bleakness, as I am, it is good to focus on the bright future God has planned for us.

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