Ruth 2:17 – 18 “So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what was left over after she had eaten enough.”
When I was a little girl, my grandmother and my aunt were the cooks for the Stephen F. Austin State University Forestry Department. These young forestry students would spend all day tromping through the woods, and they would return to the “camp” with huge appetites. Memaw and Aunt Doris always had delicious smelling, delicious tasting food waiting for them. And when I visited, guess what? I got to eat juicy fried chicken, homemade yeast rolls, and steaming peach cobbler to my heart’s content. I had done nothing to deserve such a treat, but I reaped the benefits of the abundant blessings those two ladies provided.
In the same way, Naomi received a blessing because her daughter-in-law had worked hard. She was blessed because Ruth was beautiful, humble, and kind. In a way, Ruth had earned her blessing. She had kept her pledge to God, and God was pleased. He blessed Ruth, and Naomi reaped the benefits.
It is so very important, my friends, for us to understand that our actions really do affect other people. Naomi’s husband chose to leave God’s promised land, and Naomi suffered because of it. Ruth chose to be faithful to God and to her mother-in-law, and Naomi was blessed.
How many times have we hurt those we love the most, simply because we have made sinful, rebellious choices? We are foolish to think that our actions don’t affect the people around us. When we make good choices, when we choose to obey God, we please Him. And when He is pleased, He pours out blessing upon blessing upon blessing. And those blessings spill over to the people we love.
Most of us are always looking for ways to show our loved ones how much we care about them. We see to their needs. We buy them things. We write poetry, prepare special meals, do their laundry. But the best thing we can do for the people we love is to live lives that please God. For in so doing, we will cause His rich, abundant blessings to spill over from our lives into theirs. And that’s even better than Memaw’s fried chicken.
Dear Father, Thank You for showing me more and more reasons to live for You. I love You.
Great post in this new year, and excellent reminder.
Whenever I get discouraged about my children and their present wilderness wanderings, the Lord always seems to jolt me out of despair and into service for Him through my writing.
He keeps telling me: “Make your life count for Me, and I will take care of your loved ones.”
Thanks, friend, for affirming that.