Ruth 1 – Naomi’s Afflictions
Naomi’s heart, “I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty”Ruth 1:21
These words resonate and resound within my own heart as I sat outside on a Thursday morning, reading Ruth chapter 1.
I knew I wanted to do a study on Ruth simply because it’s a book that I love, but I didn’t realize how much I needed it during this season of my life where hope seems like a distant thought and my cup seems to be empty like the times I sip my black, folger coffee a little too fast and I quickly realize that the sweet times can only go so far and that, in life, there is also a bitter taste of disappointment at the bottom of our cup, sometimes we call them the grinds. They make your nose cringe, and your mouth fill up with the bitterness of the acidic taste, and how tenderly does this resonate with the story of Naomi in Ruth chapter 1 and maybe even, myself.
I think Naomi and I would have gotten along just fine. I’m great at throwing pity-parties for myself when life doesn’t go the way I had once planned or imagined, and I often blame God for it, too.
I’m so imperfectly flawed when it comes to this area of my life and I wish I could say I wasn’t, but the humanity of my heart shows it so evidently. It’s a secret place in my heart that I have to continually revisit with the humility of grace knowing that I cannot always be everything I wish I could be.
Disappointments come and I often welcome them into the doorway of my heart as if they were an old friend, creating a place for them to stay for a little while until they leave a mark of bitterness stained so vividly on my heart.
We can see in Ruth 1:20, “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me”
I just see myself, sitting next to Naomi and talking about all the ways our lives could be better.
We do that, don’t we?
Now Naomi, she had it tough. She had lost her husband; she was widowed. And she had to flee from her country leaving one of her daughters behind while bringing the other one with her in fear.
I don’t know what your life looks like right now and I certainly could not understand the kind of disappointments you may be dealing with. When they’re personal, the pain is felt so much deeper and it is hard to make sense of the complexity of it all, so I won’t pretend too. But I do want to say there is more to your story. Disappointment is never the last word. It is just a passing comment that will soon see it’s glory in the end. God wasn’t done writing Naomi’s story at the end of chapter 1. And can I say this? He’s not done writing yours, either.
I know it’s hard to understand when things don’t go the way we once thought they would or when a sudden unexpected turn of events shakes up our comfortable lives simply to throw us in a frenzy, panic of “What am I going to do now?”
I’m sure Naomi was not expecting to be left widowed or to flee from her country, but the only way to get across those valleys are to walk right through the middle. And only until we have enough faith to do that, will we see His victory on the other side.
I know during these times in our lives hope may seem so far away. But my heart, if nothing else, is that you will be able to take hope in this: HE IS STILL WRITING YOUR STORY. And it’s only the beginning.
Love and Blessings,