Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dear Emmalee: My prayer for you on your 4th birthday


August 29, 2010

Dear Emmalee,

I can’t imagine how difficult the decision was for Ruth when she vowed to leave her home and everything she’d known to follow Naomi back to Bethlehem. Ruth’s life had already been hard enough, with the death of her husband at such a young age. Now she was facing another challenge and increasing uncertainty as her mother-in-law was preparing to depart from her.

Ruth could have stayed where she was comfortable. She could have done what her sister-in-law Orpah did – bid Naomi a tearful farewell and returned to the life to which she was accustomed. But leaving Moab meant more to Ruth than simply walking away from a familiar lifestyle. It also meant turning her back on the false gods the Moabites worshiped and embracing the one true God that Naomi worshiped. “Your people will be my people,” Ruth told Naomi, “and your God my God.” That was the main reason why Ruth chose to go with Naomi – because the Lord had done a work of grace in her life and had called her in such a way that she couldn’t refuse.

It was obvious that the Lord had important plans for Ruth when he asked her to leave her pagan world and follow him in faith. But Ruth had no idea what was in store for her during her early days in a foreign land, when she was dependent upon the kindness of strangers for her very survival. God took care of her, however, and provided her a godly husband in Boaz. She eventually became the great-grandmother of the great King David, and the ancestor of the even greater King Jesus.

For the past four years, you have been a bright beam of light in our lives. I’m thankful for your exuberance and the vitality that you exhibit daily. I can’t count how many times you’ve made your mom and me laugh hysterically. You’ve always been a child quick to flash your beautiful smile, quick to laugh and quick to love. The joy you’ve brought to our lives is immeasurable.

So, Emmalee Ruth Ellsworth, as you celebrate your fourth birthday, my prayer for you is that the Lord would call you to follow him in the same way he called Ruth so many years ago. I pray that while you are still young, you would embrace Jesus Christ and his gospel, that you would in essence say to me and your mom, “Your God will be my God.”

You will find that to be the most important decision you will ever make in your life. No matter what else God may have in store for you, none of it will amount to anything if you have gotten the most important question wrong. By the Lord’s grace, Ruth got it right. She was willing to risk everything in her pursuit of the living God, and I earnestly pray that you would follow her example. It may cost you friends, or prestige, or riches, or status in the eyes of those who love this world. It may even cost you your life. But those are small prices to pay in exchange for an eternal home in heaven, which the Lord Jesus has prepared for those who love him.

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. I love you with all my heart.


Categories : Family


  1. Karen Rankin says:

    I attend church at Cedar Hill Baptist Church with David & Mary Lou Lyon. I just read your post here because of the listing that Mary Lou made on Facebook. I wanted to let you know that thismessage to your daughter is absolutely touching. I thank God for fathers such as yourself, like my Chris, who are willing to share the gospel with their children. Such a sweet sentiment as my children’s father has just passed away. May God bless you & your children with many years to come.

    In Christ,

    Karen Rankin <

Leave a Reply