Day 12 – The Little Things

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Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

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Today’s reading: 

There was once a hungry family – a mother and a father and two big boys – and they lived in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”. But the whole family was starving – for bread, for anything to put in their bowls. So they packed up everything they owned and moved far away to live among people who had food – and false gods. They moved in next door to a girl named Ruth. 

One day the father died. The mother, whose name was Naomi – she cried. Later, Naomi cried with happiness – the day when Ruth smiled yes and married one of her sons. For a while, Namoi felt like her plate was heaped full of good, sweet things.

But then both sons died. Naomi’s heart broke. She felt alone in all the world and hungry for love. Sometimes no one sees how lonely you feel inside. Ruth held Naomi when she cried again. Naomi said she was going to go back home. She’d left Bethlehem starving – and she was going back bitter.

Ruth was smart, standing there in the dark. She looked for the light. That’s what smart people always do: brilliant people are the ones who never stop looking for the light of Jesus in everything.

“I will go with you back to your home. I will go with you and love you and look for the good, for the gifts.” Ruth hugged Naomi with her smile. Ruth left the land of idols she had grown up in and went back to Naomi’s land, moved to Bethlehem and that house of bread. 

When Ruth returned to Bethlehem with Naomi, she just happened to end up harvesting wheat in the field of the man who had the right to buy back the family land Naomi lost when she moved away from Bethlehem. His name was Boaz. Boaz just happened to meet Ruth out in his field gathering wheat, and Ruth just happened to tell him her story, and Boaz just happened to offer to help.

And Boaz just happened to say he would take Ruth to be his wife and would buy back Naomi’s family land. Guess who came to the wedding? Boaz’s mother – who just so happened to be the long-ago girl who did bad things but became a princess – Rahab! (Now who was expecting that?) Naomi and Rahab both cried happy joy at the wedding. And Ruth and Boaz just happened to have a son. Naomi and Rahab were grandmothers to a little boy named Obed. And Obed happened to have a son named Jesse, who had a son named David – who became, yes, that King David, the greatest king Israel had ever known – until his many-many-many-great-grandson was born one day in Bethlehem: Jesus! The baby King who would be like bread to make sure our hearts would never be hungry for love again.

It sure didn’t look like any miracles were happening in the story of Naomi and Ruth, did it? No angels appeared stage left, no donkeys started talking, no fireballs fell from heaven. But did you see that? All the little things that happened – they just happened to be little miracles. All that’s happening around every day is happening to make miracles.

Every little thing is going to be okay, because God is working good through every little thing. There is never a night, never a darkness when gifts and miracles and joy aren’t coming – coming right to you. It’s a miracle in itself – how you don’t have to buy any Christmas miracle at all!

The big miracle of an unbeatable, unfailing, unwrappable love is happening all around you right now. Jesus is coming – coming like a miracle into everything!


Thoughts to discuss

  • What little miracles have you seen in the past few days? 
  • How can you keep your eyes open to notice the little things God is doing all around you?
  • Turn off all the lights in the room except the Christmas lights. Notice how the darkness makes the light seem even brighter. Thank God for being your light, even in dark times.