Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Naomi and the Quest for Relief from Pain and Loss

Photo Courtesy Of: Verne Ho

“But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me…..So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” ~Ruth 1:20, 4:13-17

Naomi’s story is one of so much unimaginable loss and pain, and yet so much unimaginable redemption, joy, and legacy. Ruth 1 tells us that Naomi lost first her husband and then, as if that weren’t hard enough, lost her two sons, as well. She was now a childless widow in a time and culture wherein to be so was a disgrace that destined you to a life of destitution. And yet, all things are possible with God!

Naomi’s story begins to change from one of overwhelming grief and sadness to one of impending joy and gladness in Ruth 2. This widow and her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth, meet a distant relative of theirs, Boaz, who promises to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect and make a way for these ladies to provide for themselves. He saw to it that their needs were met, while also at the same time preserving their dignity in allowing them to work his field so that they could provide for their own needs, rather than simply receive a hand-out.

One thing leads to another and, before we know it, by the end of the book of Ruth, chapter 4 tells us that Boaz and Ruth end up getting married and having a sweet son of their own, whom they name Obed. As if that weren’t amazing enough, this little Obed became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of King David, as well as an ancestor of Jesus Himself. Talk about a story of redemption!

Friend, I don’t know what kind of pain you are currently experience or what loss you have been through. But I do know this: our God is a God of redemption! The same God Who wrought miracles in the life of Naomi and her loved ones is the same God Whom you follow today. His heart for Naomi is the same as His heart for you, and He is always, always working behind the scenes to bring good out of even those seemingly worthless and heart-wrenching moments of our lives.

So, in this New Year, look to Him, friend. Pour out all your cares, your burdens, your pains, and your heartbreaking losses at His feet. He wants you to do that! First Peter 5:6-7 says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Turn to Him, friend. He is ready and willing to carry you, help you, and deliver you through this trial safely to the other side.

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