Tuesday 20 May, 2014

Ruth 1:19-22

19 The two women continued on their way. At last they arrived in Bethlehem. The whole town was stirred up because of them. The women asked, “Can this possibly be Naomi?” 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara. The Mighty One has made my life very bitter. 21 I was full when I went away. But the Lord has brought me back empty. So why are you calling me Naomi? The Lord has made me suffer. The Mighty One has brought trouble on me.” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab. Ruth, her daughter-in-law from Moab, came with her. They arrived in Bethlehem just when people were beginning to harvest the barley.

How do we handle life when faced with a personal crisis? Naomi had left Bethlehem with a husband and two sons, and returned a widow, also mourning the death of her two sons.

Naomi is now a cranky and bitter woman, no longer believing that life can be pleasant and joyful, but for some reason, God has afflicted her with pain and loss.

In a short time, the afflictions endured by Naomi have made great and surprising changes in her. She consciously places all her pain, bitter experiences and hopelessness within the structure of God’s sovereignty, and she leaves the explanation and responsibility with him. This way of thinking is fatally flawed. She had forgotten that the God, whom she serves, is so much greater than her problems.  It is interesting to note that Naomi still trusts God, but her perception of God is founded in life circumstances and not on the nature of God.

Isn’t that what we do so often? We need to immerse ourselves in God’s word, spend time in his presence, and be convinced that Gods character is dependability and steadfast love. This will generate a faith in God that will allow you to cope with the uncertainties, pain and bitterness of life.

Father, help me always to remember that you are a loving and faithful God, no matter what circumstances have come my way, and as I submit to You, that all things will be worked for good to change me more into the image of Your son Jesus. Amen

Written by Cathy Croft

2 replies
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    Thanks Cathy great words. I too, like Naomi like to throw pity parties & forget to invite Jesus!

  2. David Newton says:

    It’s the ultimate challenge to ‘faith in God’. Why do bad things happen to good people? The question has perplexed some of the greatest thinkers of all history.
    As a person who has faced significant challenges in my life I confess the temptation to move towards bitterness is strong. The greatest revelation for me happened when I re-framed the question from ‘Why is this happening to me?’ to ‘How should I behave while this is happening to me’?. This does not deny the magnitude of the circumstance but it does changes a tormenting question to an empowering ‘call to action’.
    Cathy, I 100% agree with your formula for overcoming bitterness.

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