Yesterday as we began digging into the book of Ruth, we left off with Elimelech and his family dwelling in Moab. He had packed up during a time of famine and left Bethlehem to take up residence in a foreign land. Due to some intense circumstances that followed, our honing in today will be centered on his wife. Meet Naomi.
With a name that in essence means "pleasant" and "agreeable", I see Naomi as a wife who probably didn't buck up against her husband in his choice to relocate. However, once in Moab the pleasant wife soon became a widow. It doesn't state how much time had passed, but suddenly she was left with her two sons - two sons who had joined themselves in marriage to women of Moab. It is stated then that after living in this foreign land for ten years, Naomi's loss was compounded in the death of her sons.
While I pray that we back pedal at some point and meditate on the return of Naomi and one of her daughters-in-law to Bethlehem, what is standing out to me to pull from this section of the story and lay out on the table today is Naomi's demeanor in the return. I assume that her husband had seen their circumstances as empty before leaving, so that they could become full. There is no mention that the famine had affected Moab, so Naomi should have been content there with her belly full...right? Wrong.
Upon her return, she gives herself a bitter name and recognizes that she had left full and had come home empty. That is the opposite of what her husband had been going for, right? His view was based on provision. Hers was based on relationship. In her eyes, she was already full when they left Bethlehem! She had her family, and that was enough for her.
How do you view your circumstances? Does your angle offer you a perspective of contentment, or that of "never enough"? Naomi all of a sudden carried the results of her husband's decision on her own shoulders and her contentment turned to bitterness.
I challenge you to take inventory of your response to the circumstances of your life. Some things you have caused, and some things were caused for you. I implore you - please don't change your name to bitterness.
Father, responses determine the path we take moving forward in our lives. Regardless of the direction the wind is blowing, may we stand firm in the contentment of knowing You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.