“Instead call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty...Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”
Sometimes our pain feels so overwhelming that our vision of God becomes clouded with bitterness. Naomi was in that state after losing her husband and two sons. Through her bitterness lens, God looked like the cause of her tragedies, the One who took away and left her empty. Bitterness so blinded Naomi that she could not even see God’s blessing at her side as “Ruth clung tightly to her!” (v. 14)
When we feel like we’ve lost everything, God doesn’t leave us either. Instead He clings tightly to us, waiting for us to see Him clearly. Naomi had no idea what God had planned or the special role He wanted her to play…taking Ruth to Bethlehem to become an ancestor of Jesus!
But somewhere in the story, Naomi’s view of God changed. First, she prayed for the Lord to bless Boaz for helping Ruth. (2:19-20) Then when their baby was born, Naomi cared for Obed as if he were her own. (4:16) So at last, instead of bitterly seeing a God who takes away, Naomi saw the God who restores and blesses!
If you have been peering through the lens of bitterness lately, blink again...God is clinging tightly to you, waiting to show you…
He is not the author of bitterness…HE is the author of blessing!