“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 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.” Ruth 1:20-21
Naomi was married and had two sons, both of whom were married, while she lived in Moab. Her husband and both sons died, leaving her alone and on her own. She chooses to move back to Bethlehem and tells the daughters-in-law to stay there. Ruth goes with her.
When Naomi gets to Bethlehem, she changes her name to Mara, which means bitter. She does this because all she sees is sorrow and pain in the loss of her husband and sons. She feels that God is afflicting her and only giving her misfortune.
At this point in her life, Naomi sees only what is happening and not what will occur in the future. She does not see the hand of God in her situation. She does not see that because of this move, her daughter-in-law Ruth will become the grandmother of King David and ultimately Jesus.
As you go through life there are times when things will seem to go completely against you. You will feel empty and defeated under a load of misfortune. You may even start to feel bitter towards God because of the problems He is allowing in your life, thinking that God is out to get you and destroy you.
These things could not be further from the truth. God is for you and not against you. He wants you to succeed. However, He has bigger plans for you than you can see. In order to get you to where you need to be, there are times you must take a rough path of what looks like misfortune.
Going through “misfortune” may be what it takes to move you into position for a greater work or for greater growth.
Rely on God and trust that He knows what He is doing. He is in control. Misfortune in your life may be God’s work to make you better or use you more.
Do not allow yourself to be bitter against God for any “misfortune”, just trust God in it.
I pray today that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that you will not be bitter against God; that God will use you to do great things; that God will make you into the person He needs you to be; and that you will know the joy of serving God.