“So Boaz took Ruth. She became his wife, and he went in to her. The Lord made it possible for her to have a child and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi, “Thanks be to the Lord. He has not left you without a family this day. May his name become known in all of Israel. May he bring you new life and strength while you are old. For your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and held him, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name. They said, “A son has been born to Naomi!” And they called him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 4:13-17
This morning I saw the funniest cartoon online (who thinks up these things?). It showed two men walking, one being Jesus. He said to the other man “see those single footprints? That is where I carried you. See those grooves? That is where I was dragging you.” Can you just laugh along with me for a minute? Isn’t that so like most of our days?
Sweetheart and I are full time caregivers for two of our grandchildren. That, along with the care of our disabled grown son, can make for some really, really, REALLY long days. It certainly was not where we saw ourselves when we starting planning out our retirement. I mean think about it. Who gets up on their fiftieth birthday and says “I think I will bring an 18 month old, a 6 month old and a drug overdose brain damaged adult into our lives just for fun and excitement?”
When God began leading me on this journey, He had to drag me kicking and screaming down the road. WHAT? ME? (first I argued) But God! I have a successful business. I am important. People need me. No one will be able to do what I do. (then I whined) But God! I don’t want to. Please don’t make me. Can’t you choose someone else? (then I tried to bargain) But God! What if I just do it a couple days a week? What if I pay someone else?
So, a year and many ruts later I have finally found peace with His desires for me. Two high chairs, two cribs, and a two room suite for our son have become permanent parts of our home. Baby toys are the decorations of choice along with a Play Station 3. I often find myself the object of stares as I juggle a toddler who wants to run wild, a baby who desires to be held constantly, and a son who shuffles along a few steps behind.
As God led me to the book of Ruth this morning I was drawn to the last chapter. While I usually view this story as being about Ruth, today I realized that for me, it was about Naomi. Through the birth of her grandson an important lineage was kept intact. More importantly she was given an important role in the raising of Obed. It says “she (Naomi) held him, and became his nurse” (italics added by me) It doesn’t say what Ruth was doing in her life at that moment but it is obvious that she needed the help of her mother in law Naomi.
It came to me in that moment that God has asked me to be a part of the raising of the next generation. What an enormous gift from Him that He would entrust me with the care of His precious little ones. I suddenly saw with great clarity that He had truly forgiven me for my past sins in that He would allow me to help raise these sweet babies and help instill in them a love for their Lord and Savior.
Dearest Father God, oh that I would have seen Your perfect will sooner so that I would not have wasted so much time dragging my feet. You have given me the perfect job. These sweet babies are straight from Your arms and full of Your grace. Let me guide and teach them in such a way that they can be the strength of the next generation of Your spiritual warriors. Let me show them how to wear the armor of God in all their activities. Thank You Father for all the grandparents out there who are caring for their grandbabies. It is a hard, often thankless job but we are blessed by the trust You have placed in us. Let us find each other and help each other in our journeys. In the name of Christ Our Savior, Amen
copyright2012, Michelle Welch, Breath Of Life Women’s Ministry
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
scripture from NLT