Ruth 1:20-21 (NIVUK)
20 ‘Don’t call me Naomi,’ she told them. ‘Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.’
The experience of losing her family turns Naomi (‘pleasant’) into Mara (‘bitter’), from full to empty. Our life of faith isn’t guaranteed to be easy or nice, there are going to be struggles on the way. I’m intrigued by Naomi’s response. For many today, such hardship leads them to question their faith. Naomi/Mara doesn’t doubt, instead she makes sense of her suffering by holding God accountable – at the end of the day the buck does indeed ultimately stop with him. The good news is that God has heard his people’s cries and has/is/will put all things right through his Son.
Father, help us when times get tough not to turn to you, but to bring our troubles to you both as a lament and an act of faith.