Ruth 1:20, 21 “Don’t call me Naomi, “she told them.” Call me Mara, (bitter) because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
The story of Ruth is also the story of Naomi. Naomi and her family moved from Bethlehem to Moab due to famine. While there her husband died and her 2 sons married Moabite women. Then her two sons died and Naomi returned to Bethlehem with only her daughter-in-law Ruth, who refused to be separated from her. Although she had Ruth, her focus was on what she lost.
We go though difficulties and misfortunes as well. Losses, hurts, disappointments are part of life. They are not separate from our faith, but God is always in the midst of them. We can respond in faith and trust Him – or be focused on our circumstances and view God negatively. Even when we don’t understand, He is faithful and He is with us as we go through the trials.
Sometimes we are able to see the good that comes out of our struggles – sometimes not. But the Lord is always with us and always for us. He is actively at work in us to bring forth His character and to bring about His plan. Remember the marvelous joy we experience when we are tested and come through it faithfully.
Little did Naomi realize that God was using her in a marvelous way – to accomplish His plan of bringing Ruth to Boaz. How different her response at that time might have been if she was aware that her losses and difficulties were essential for God’s plan to unfold. Not only was Naomi to be provided for abundantly, but she cared for the child born to Ruth and Boaz who was named Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.