Read Ruth 4:13-17
13 So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son.14 Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. 15 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!”
16 Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. 17 The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. (NLT)
Not all our stories have happy endings, but there are enough of them around to have us pause to thank God for them. What started out as a bleak and unpromising set of circumstances can become the prelude to a fresh season of hope and joy.
Naomi would understand this. The woman who came to Bethlehem bitter in the certainty that God had abandoned her now embraces a newborn in the presence of her newly married daughter-in-law Ruth. And that too was a story with a happy ending. The lonely foreigner found love and refuge not merely under the wings of God but under the kind protection of Boaz.
Our life stories may resemble this. The darkness of despondency can turn to light. What we fear may not come upon us. Other people may be comforts to us sent by God. Then again, if we are honest, it can go the other way. Sometimes our stories go from light to darkness, at least for a time. We can only cling to the assurance of God’s companionship through each and every season of our life journey.
And we can remind ourselves that God sees the big picture, the long view. Naomi and Ruth were not to know that the newborn being cuddled was to be one of the distant ancestors of the Messiah. Our stories do not end when our own lives end.