20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”
Dear God, I was listening to one of my favorite Newsboys songs this morning that reminds me of Naomi’s situation. It’s called “Lord (I don’t know).” Here’s a link to the song:
The message of this song is wrapped up in the chorus: “Lord, I don’t know where all this is going or how it all works out. Lead me to peace that passes understanding. A peace beyond all doubt.” This could have been Naomi’s song to you. It is all of our songs–especially those in pain this morning.
What Naomi didn’t realize was you were there. You gave her Ruth. You had a plan for this pain. I’m not going to say you wanted her sons and husband to die, but you certainly used it for the benefit of Israel. You used it for the benefit of Ruth. Now, ultimately, it cost Naomi people–loved ones–she could never replace. But you made it count.
I know people today who are suffering. I know a family who just lost a relative in a terrible car accident one week ago this morning. I know of a woman who has a difficult cancer diagnosis and no funding or easy path to treatment. I know people who are recently widowed. I myself have some pain this morning–a metaphorical cloud over me. What am I to do? Am I to claim the name “Mara” and pronounce myself bitter to the world? Or am I to take a look around and acknowledge a few things. 1.) You have given me great love in this life. Love that is often beyond reason. 2.) You have given me a “Ruth” through a relationship with a relative that, well, if I didn’t have it I might be in total despair this morning. And 3.) you might just be using the pain I’m feeling to accomplish things I will never know or understand.
Father, help me to not miss you today. Help me to see you and your blessings all over the place. Please be a comfort to those I mentioned who are suffering and those I’ve forgotten are suffering. Show me the role you have for me to play in their lives. And please help the people in Ukraine. I don’t even know how to pray for the, but, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, please help these poor people. Provide for their needs. Make this stop. Please, make it stop. And use this for your ultimate glory.
I love you, and I thank you. I pray this by the name of Jesus,