Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day 4 - Naomi & disappointment

This is Day 4 of my 31 days of writing series called "Confessions of a Road Kill Christian" If you haven't read Day 1 you can click here first. I am linking up with #write31days. I hope you will stick around for the whole thing... while the message of one post might feel incomplete my hope is that by the end we'll be encouraged by who God is and who He says we are to Him. 

I have struggled all week with this post. I wondered "how can I dare to compare my struggles with those of Naomi's?" I sat in my bathtub crying out to God to show me what to say, and while I didn't have a lightning blog message from God I did feel like the fog in my brain began to clear and the message of what I wanted to share began to appear. So here we go.  Her story is in the book of Ruth and it goes something like this:

Naomi, her husband and her two sons left their homeland because of a famine. It must have been pretty awful for them to leave their property, their home, their extended family and community. As I sit here typing it out I'm thinking of it in terms of when we hit the recession, how hard those years were, and the years leading up to it weren't easy either. If, during the recession you ended up taking a job overseas, just to have a job. I think it would be like that. It must have been a hard, heartbreaking journey for Naomi. 

So here is Naomi with her husband and two sons, from the language in the story it sounds like their sons were pretty young. They are trying to build a new life in a new country. I imagine Naomi was starting to adjust to her new culture, maybe she was starting to make friends, when tragedy strikes - her husband dies.

I can not even begin to imagine what that would have been like for her. In a foreign country with her children and no technology like email, she couldn't pick up the phone to call her mom, her cousins didn't fly in to attend the funeral. She was alone in a strange country and her husband was dead. She had to finish raising her sons on her own. She had to scramble to make sure they were provided for. She had to step up as the head of her household. She had to get them wives. Alone, in a foreign country. But life started to look up. Her sons got married and she had grandchildren to look forward to. Maybe she finally imagined a happy ending to her story. But then, the unthinkable happened:

Both of her sons died. 

I think anyone would be crushed. 

When she heard that things were better back home she kissed her daughters in-law and headed back home. Ruth refused to leave her and traveled with Naomi back to her homeland. 

When Naomi got back home and her friends and relatives said "Look there is Naomi! She has come back!!" She said "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara (which means bitter) for God has dealt me a bitter blow." 

Long story short - God turned Naomi's life around. Her daughter in-law Ruth married a man who would become the great-grandfather of King David, which places them in the lineage of Jesus. When Ruth had her first son everyone rejoiced for Naomi and how God had blessed her greatly.

Here is the point of all of this though: 

God didn't change.

When life was good, 
when life was too heavy for Naomi to bear, 
when her life seemed as good as over,
when Ruth happened to be in the field of Boaz, (her future husband) 
when God blessed their family with a blessing greater than they could have had before all of their trouble
God did not change

This is a truth I have clung to when good times turn bad, when I am struggling with something that seemed easy last time. I try to remeber, no matter what my circumstances tempt me to believe about God - that He doesn't care about me or that He has forgotten me, or even that He has dealt me a bitter blow - God doesn't change. His love for me is constant and faithful. My circumstances are all over the place. My feelings about those circumstances are even more ever-changing. But God is faithful. 

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness You will lead us
And forever we will say 
You're the Lord our God.

Continue to day 5

1 comment:

  1. I've always found the story of Naomi comforting. I think your observation that God didn't change throughout the whole story is quite apt. He was the same God then that He is now.


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