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Change Under Pressure

“She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”1

Naomi, whose name means ‘beautiful, lovely, and pleasant’, lived a comfortably secure life with her husband in their hometown of Judah. A famine in the land had caused them to leave their comfortable home and move to a foreign country.  The young couple happily raised their sons there, until the sad day that Naomi was left widowed. In her pleasantness, she continued bringing up her boys to be fine young men and found them wives among the foreigners. A few years later, a tragic turn of events took both of her sons lives and Naomi was left helpless and alone. She had lost everything. With no hope in sight, she sadly gathered her few belongings and prepared to return to Judah. To her surprise, her daughters in law clung to her and refused to leave her. Naomi tried to convince them to stay among their own people and succeeded with one of the young women, but the other still refused. Naomi and Ruth traveled to Judah together with only a slight hope for their future. Upon their arrival, Naomi was instantly recognized by her kinfolk. They greeted her warmly, for they remembered her sweet spirit. But they encountered a very much changed Naomi who returned their greeting by saying, ‘Don't call me Naomi. My name is now Mara, it means bitter. I am no longer the pleasant girl you remember for I have lost everything.’

Naomi’s story might be relatable to some. When tragic events steal our joy, we face the world differently. Our outlook on life is different and we may become bitter. But God did not leave Naomi to her sorrow. God blessed Naomi and used her daughter in law, Ruth, to bring joy back into her life. The stereotypical Mother and Daughter in law relationship was turned because the Lord looked down on them with kindness and they allowed themselves to be used by God, even in their sorrow.

Life may deal us unpleasant changes, but God remains faithful and true when we seek His will first. Take comfort in the blessings that he has in store for you today. Don’t change your name to Mara yet – God still has great plans for you!

Suggested Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for your faithfulness in my times of weakness. Allow me the strength to carry on knowing that your plan for me isn’t finished yet. Renew my joy in you and be glorified by my praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  1. Ruth 1:20.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.