Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Instead call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why should you call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy?”
Naomi went through some rough years of her life. She had left her home in Israel with her family to go to Moab because of a severe famine in the land, she lived in Moab several years amongst a people who did not know or serve God, and she had to bury her husband and two sons. She knew what it was to suffer greatly. She had come to a point where seemingly all hope of enjoying the rest of her life was gone. Her life was indeed bleak.
Perhaps you can identify with how Naomi felt. She could only see how bad things were at the moment, not how good things might get in the future. She had lost all joy of living and her hope was nearly gone. She had no one who could hold her hand and help her through her sufferings. The only thing she knew to do was to go back to her home in Israel and try to live out the rest of her days.
Like so many whose lives are characterized by suffering, she blamed God for what was wrong with her life. It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? We don’t like suffering and when we do, we blame God. After all, He is supposed to love us and spare us from sufferings, isn’t He?
We must never forget that our sufferings serve a very important role in life. James tells us they help to mold and shape our faith. Jesus often spoke of the difficulty of living the life of faith. He never once promised us a life of comfort and ease. Paul reminds us that God is in control and everything He does is for our good, that He is working things out for us if we will but trust Him and let Him be in control.
God never promised us an easy road to heaven in this life. But, He does promise to walk with us each step we take. He promises us all we need to endure our sufferings. He promises us that it will be worth it all when we leave this life and see Jesus face-to-face.
Don’t let your circumstances determine your faith or confidence in God. Don’t let your heart become bitter because of how your life is. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, trust Him to walk with you and you will be able to live above your circumstances instead of underneath them.