Surprise packages

Some of the best surprise gifts come in unassuming packages.  I’m reminded of the story of Ruth who had a mother-in-law who was elderly. Ruth chose to lovingly care for her mother-in-law in her old age rather than seeking her own desires for love and romance and the financial security of a new marriage. It meant that life was hard and she didn’t have time to think of herself.  She worked and listened the the wise advice of her mother-in-law.  In a turn of events, Ruth ended up with both a loving secure home for her mother-in-law, and an incredible new marriage, and then a child.  But this all was accomplished in turn as Ruth choose to do the unselfish thing – step after step. By putting her own desires on hold, she received more than she ever could have ever dreamed.  Ruth’s new life was a surprise gift in a package she never would have considered previously.  The people of her village remarked to her mother-in-law, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family!  May this child be famous in Israel.  May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age.  For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!  Ruth 4:14-15 NLT).  In that culture, that was the supreme compliment.  


And so as this time of gift-giving unwinds, sometimes we find the best gifts are the unexpected remnants of unselfish choices.  Can you think of something that made you smile because you put someone else’s happiness first?  Bingo.   

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