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SATURDAY 20th MAY

May 29, 2020

SATURDAY 29th MAY 2020

 

Good morning friends,

 

On Thursday evening I joined with many others up and down the land in “clapping for carers” This show of appreciation has been taking place for the last 10 weeks, and the numbers participating has grown with each passing week as people have wanted to recognise the devotion of those who have remained in the front line caring for those affected by this terrible virus.

 

It has been mooted that now is the time to stop this weekly show, but we will wait and see if that happens.

 

Those who care for other people often do so at great sacrifice to their own lives, and it can often take its toll, but I know also it is a real blessing to those on the receiving end of such devoted care-fulness.

There is such an account in one of the smallest books in the Bible. 

 

It is the Book of Ruth, and I would urge you to spend a little time reading it today.

 

The story begins and ends in Bethlehem, a small town that in Hebrew means "house of bread."

 

Interestingly, this small town will in later centuries be the birthplace of Jesus, who identifies himself in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, as the "bread of life." In the book of Ruth, however, it is a small town suffering through a famine.

 

During that time the only way to survive the famine was to move to a more fertile place, and so a woman named Naomi, her husband and her sons did just that when they crossed the Jordan River into Moab.

 

They settled in, and their sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth.

 

After about 10 years, following the deaths of Naomi's husband and sons, news came that Bethlehem was recovering. Naomi set out for a return to Bethlehem, and encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their own families in Moab. Orpah did as Naomi requested, but Ruth instead pledged her life to Naomi in these beautiful words,

 

“Wherever you go I will go,
wherever you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people
and your God, my God.
Where you die I will die,
and there be buried.”
(Ruth 1:16-17)

 

Ruth decided to go with Naomi and look after her even though it meant great sacrifice.

However as the story unfolds we see that Ruth’s devotion is used by God to bring about tremendous blessing, not just for Naomi and Ruth, but also in the continuing plan of God to bring his work of Salvation to humankind.

 

Ruth's devotion to her mother-in-law, her willingness to do whatever was necessary to put food on their table, brought Ruth to a man named Boaz's attention.

They would eventually marry and that only provided security and protection for both women, but it produced an heir.

 

Ruth's son, Obed, would become King David's grandfather and Ruth would be forever remembered in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

 

Here then, another example of how God can, and does use even the most tragic and difficult circumstances to bring about his good plan.

 

For sure we never see the bigger picture in our actions when we the care for someone.

 

I can remember years ago when I was going through tough times, dealing with hurts from my childhood. The memories were very painful, and I did not know how I would ever be able to ever heal.

However, a colleague appeared on the scene and one day I began very tentatively to share some of my pain.

He said something to me on the second time of our meeting which I never forgot, and helped me over the time I spent sharing with him.

 

He said, “ Elizabeth, remember this, no matter what you tell me, no matter how painful it is going to be for you, I am not going anywhere, I will stay with you, right to the very end.” 

 

He did, and my life and my future ministry were enriched because of his steadfast devotion to care.

 

Strong echoes back to the story of Ruth and Naomi.

 

Their story illustrates the power of mutual commitment between persons. When we choose to surrender to caring for another person, we form a relationship that testifies to God's faithfulness and not just our own.

 

So, to all carers’ everywhere, God bless you this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Their story illustrates the power of mutual commitment between persons. When we choose to surrender to caring for another person, we form a relationship that testifies to God's faithfulness and not just our own.

So, to all carers’ everywhere, God bless you this day.

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Divine Healing Fellowship (Scotland)

Braehead House

Christian Healing & Retreat Centre

Crossford

South Lanarkshire

ML8  5NQ

Telephone:
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Email: divinehealingfellowship@hotmail.co.uk

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