Naomi had experienced so much loss in her life. We don’t know what her early life was like, but her account picks up during a famine in Bethlehem. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, decides to take his family to Moab hoping to escape famine and find relief. Elimelech ends up passing away and Naomi is left with their two sons. There the two sons find Moabite women to wed. After ten years of dwelling in Moab, the two sons pass away also. So here are 3 women who have no man in their life. They’ve all experienced loss. Orpah stays in Moab, but Ruth desires to go with Naomi back to her hometown. It’s a tragic beginning to a beautiful story.
Once they arrive back in Bethlehem, Naomi tells everyone to call her Mara for the Lord has dealt bitterly with me or made me bitter. What a sad statement to make. Naomi meant pleasantness, yet she felt anything but pleasant at this time in her life. Her circumstances (though it wasn’t her decision to go to Moab) left her feeling grieved, vexed, and bitter. I think we all can relate to Naomi, I know I can. Sometimes we deal with ramifications from another’s choice in life. Who’s to say that the husband and sons wouldn’t have died in Bethlehem, but who’s to say they would?
The Father rains on the just and unjust at times.
We can’t let the trials we experience, whether they are a direct result of our decisions or not, leave us bitter. Bitterness will affect everything in our lives and everyone. It’s so easy to become bitter though. It’s easy to blame someone else and complain about their foolishness. We think it will make us feel better by placing blame and being right. It only spreads and destroys the plan of God for our lives.
He never left Naomi or Ruth. He had a plan for redemption and it was far greater than Naomi could see. That’s why He is God and we are not. He sees and knows all the details that will play out in our lives. We have to trust Him and ask for strength when life seems horrible. That can be hard when you may not have caused the issue, but we still have to choose not to become bitter.
He desires joy for us, not for us to hate.
He desires growth for us, not for us to be stagnant.
He desires life for us, not death.
The Father sees all and He knows all. He will turn good from bad, if we trust Him and obey Him. He never leaves anything undone. He always repairs and restores, if we will allow Him too. When you feel bitterness creeping in, start counting all the ways the Father has blessed you. Combat the bitterness with thanksgiving.
Father, You are God. You are the Supreme One. Thank You for seeing all things that happen in our life. We can only see what is right in our faces, but You see with a birdseye view. Oh help us to turn from bitterness when events leave us feeling alone and questioning Your goodness. You are good no matter what. Help us to cling to Your words in the scriptures that say You are good. We want to forsake bitterness and choose joy, thanksgiving, and love. Strengthen us when we are dealing with issues that we haven’t caused. Let us not forget how Jesus dealt with so much that he never caused. We praise You for Your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.