She wanted to cry but the tears were all gone. She had run out of tears. This was not the way things were supposed to be! She thought back to those days so long ago when she'd been a young bride. She had been full of hopes and dreams. God had blessed her with husband and two darling baby boys. Oh, life may not always have been easy but she was blessed.
Then came the famine. Things went from bad to worse. When her husband told her to start packing, she wept. How could she leave her family and friends? Yet she knew he was only trying to take care of his family. He was only trying to move them to a better place, away from this land of hunger. So with a heavy heart, she packed their bags and off they went to a foreign land. They would be fine... or would they.
Disaster struck! Her strong husband, the one she leaned upon, the man who cared for her and protected her was snatched away! How she wept. What was she to do now? All hope was gone or was it? Her sons! She still had her sons. They would care for her. They would give her granchildren. They would give her hope.
Her sons married. Oh, yes there had been tough times. She wasn't the woman she'd been but things were going to be fine. Her sons worked hard and provided for their wives and their mother. Things weren't quite the way she had planned, but still, life was good.
Excitedly she waited for the arrival of her grandchildren. She waited and waited and waited. Unbelievable! After ten years neither son had any children. Her heart grew heavier and heavier as she cried out to God. It wasn't supposed to be like this!
Then the final blow came. Her sons were dead! The two men she had pinned all of her hopes on were gone. There was nothing left. Things weren't supposed to have happened like this.
Probably all of us have experienced times of disappointment in our life. We've all faced or probably will face those times when we will think, "But it wasn't supposed to be like this."
Naomi's life had been completely shattered to the point that she changed her name. When I looked up the meaning of the name, Naomi, I found that it means more than just pleasant. It also means beautiful, gentle and delightful. Her life was no longer beautiful, gentle, pleasant and delightful. So she changed her name. She changed her name to Mara which means bitterness. All her hopes and dreams had been dashed. There were no more tears... only bitterness.
That could have been the end of it right there. She thought it was but God didn't. Oh no, God didn't think it was the end by any means. You can read all about it in the Book of Ruth.
Out of those ashes of broken dreams came a faithful daughter-in-law who truly was what I prefer to call a daughter-in-love.
She set aside her own dreams, her own comfort to be at the side of her mother-in-love. She didn't have to do it, she chose to do it. What a blessing she must have been to Naomi!
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:13-17
Women said that Ruth was better to Naomi than seven sons. Unbelievable when you think about the value placed on sons in that society and women, well, they barely had any status at all.
No, this was not the way things were supposed to have been, from Naomi's perspective. However, according to God this was exactly the way it was supposed to happen for Obed was the great-grandfather of David through whose line came Jesus.
When all our dreams are shattered, when we're looking around at the scrap heap thinking "But this is not the way it is supposed to be." Grasp tightly to God's hand and remember, the very best is yet to be!
Excellent lesson!! Most people would have given up after going through what Naomi went through. But, she remained faithful and so did Ruth. If they had not risen above the tragedies that befell them we would not have had a Savior born of David.
Isn't it interesting how in both Job and Naomi's cases they lost their children only to be blessed with either new ones or someone far closer and better than their own sons. So many times we predetermine what WE think is right, proper and God's will instead of yielding to His will, whatever it may be.
God's ways are so much higher than our ways and if we will simply submit to them, then we can bask in the pleasure of His good will and enjoy what He wanted for our lives. It may not always be what we wanted or thought was to be, but doing it God's way if far more beneficial in the long run than doing it our way.
Thank you for the exceptional presentation of the great truth found in the record of Naomi and Ruth!
I had a huge hint from B2Y that I needed to read this
Great blog! It is true that God doesn't do things the way we think (from our little boxes) that He should, but He always does things the best!
A new Earth and Heaven are on the horizon...
What a beautiful picture you paint K! It is in such situations that we can look back and think, "Gee, God really does know what's best for me!"
Thanks K , I needed this today, when we can still praise him. When we say to ourself THINGS just aren't supose to be this way. Lord help me to say in this storm I will praise you for you are God, and know all. I want his will not mine. :) love AJ