Today, let’s move on up the family line and take a look at another woman in the lineage of Jesus. This woman was actually adopted into the family, and her name is Ruth. Ruth was actually a daughter in law of Naomi. Naomi adopted Ruth as her own when both of her sons and her husband died. Did you know that in biblical times under Jewish law, if you adopted a child, you could never disown them, unlike a biological child? Naomi gave Ruth the chance to walk away from the family and stay with her own foreign family, but Ruth chose to go with Naomi. She is known for her loyalty in action and in words. She boldly said, “I will go where you go, your people will be my people, your God will be my God.” This foreign, adopted daughter became the wife of Boaz and the great-grandmother of King David, all in the family line of the Savior of the world. My heart is very moved by adoption stories, as it is a vital part of my own story. We have a beautiful Asian adopted daughter named Sally, and we are in the process of adopting a precious Asian son named Charlie.
Recently, I was following a blog of a woman who was in China picking up her adopted son. Two days after the Gotcha Day, they traveled to the exact spot where her son was abandoned, on a busy street in front of a convenience store. I started to cry when I pulled up the picture, because that is similar to my own children’s story. Discarded, abandoned, left in a random, dangerous place as newborns unable to do anything about it. But as I continued to read the blog, I noticed that she did not call this spot his “abandonment spot”, she called it his “finding spot”. I wept long and hard when I read that. Think about it, that place of being abandoned was really that place of being found. And we were all orphans before being adopted into the family of God. I once was lost, but now I am found! In the same way, our lost spots are really found spots, our sad spots are our spots of comfort, our weak spots are really spots of His strength being revealed. First Peter 2:9 tells us that we are adopted by God as heirs: We did not receive a spirit of fear but of Sonship and by that we cry Abba Father—Daddy! We are chosen not abandoned. How fitting for their to be an adopted foreigner in the lineage of Jesus!
As I think of my own babies, born in rough conditions, I praise God once again for the setting He chose for the birth of His Son. A dirty stable, with only a feeding trough for a bed. Prickly hay on which His holy head lay. Cast aside because there was no room for Him. And yet, in those rough conditions, came the One who would make our rough places smooth. The One that would right all our wrongs. The One that would make all things new.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
When I wrote that this time last year, we were still in the midst of the adoption process. As you all know by now, we survived it and are home! We, too, had the opportunity to go to Charlie’s Finding Spot. It was a very profound moment. I am sure I will write about it further, but for now I will give you a picture. It is a picture of redemption. It is a picture of reclaiming hope when the world thought you had no hope. It is a picture of love and calling and joy and answered prayers. This is our Finding Spot. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
This time last year, Last year, Sally had to dress up as a biblical character for a school program. Sally brought home her assignment and I discovered that she had chosen to be Ruth. This fact was supposed to remain a secret to the rest of the class. We prepared a costume and a riddle, so the other children could guess her character. This was her riddle:
I came from a foreign land.
I have a new family.
I told my new family, “I will go where you go, your people will be my people, your God will be my God.”
Who am I?
As I watched her ask this riddle in front of the class, my eyes filled with tears. Yes, my people are her people, and more importantly, even at age 7 she has already chosen my God to be her God. I praise him each day for this indescribable gift! Oh, and by the way, my Sally’s full name is Sara Ruth Berry.