“Don’t call me Naomi, she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 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.” Ruth 1:20-21 NIV
Wait till you read this! I think your heart will be bursting like mine is. I got to spend this weekend speaking at Braeside Camp’s retreat for single moms and their kids. These girls have ended up parenting without a father in the home through divorce, death or other unfortunate circumstances. Many came with broken, defeated, heavy hearts as they faced their loss and the pain their children are experiencing. Some wondered if God had forgotten about them or even more devastating, questioned if God was against them.
In every service, the women received gifts from Braeside and the many donors who wanted to bless them. The Goodness Project donated a mock store, full of clothes from an upscale clothing chain providing lots of guilt-free shopping! One mom told me how her son had lost his winter coat earlier in the week. She found two coats that fit him! Another mom hadn’t had a winter coat in years and was able to get a gorgeous, fur-collared parka, along with other clothes—she was over-the-moon excited! Women and kids were proudly walking around in new clothes for the rest of the retreat! Cedarview Church in Paris gifted the families with bags of groceries and cleaning supplies.
During the services God was setting women free, healing hurts, building courage, giving them prophetic words, dreams and visions… It was crazy! These girls get what it’s like to experience roller coaster emotions.
So many of the women came feeling poor, alone and sometimes forgotten but left spiritually fired up, knowing the church was there for them, they had new friends and most of all that God lavishly loved them!
Riding Out Roller Coaster Emotions
Today’s verse comes from the book of Ruth. I love her story. It’s an emotional retelling of women who faced extreme loss, followed by great sacrifice that leads to love, redemption, and extreme blessing! In the first chapter, you learn how Naomi has lost her husband and two sons. She then loses one daughter-in-law but her other daughter-in-law Ruth insists on staying with her as Naomi travels back to her native country, Israel. Ruth chooses to make Naomi’s people her people and Naomi’s God her God. This sacrificial act is what leads to their redemption and the destiny of God for both of their lives.
Naomi’s words in the verse above are those of a woman whose heart and will have been broken by loss. She’s taken a seat on the bitter bus and doesn’t want to get off.
Naomi feels that God is against her, but those feelings take an about-face as God lays out His redemption plan for her life and Ruth’s. It’s easy for me to stay calm when I read through the book of Ruth because I know the ending. I know Boaz is going to come into the story, fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer, marry Ruth and provide for her and Naomi. I know that beyond just fulfilling his family obligation, Boaz shows love, compassion, and care for Ruth. I know all this because I’ve read it before, but Naomi didn’t have this privileged information when she was going through the devastation of loss. Just like you don’t know the end to your story and how God is working to make your ride end well; hands raised wishing you could go on again!
Father… I thank You for your stabilizing peace in the midst of chaos, loss, and confusion. You are my hope, my joy, my peace, my life. In You, I have all I need for life. You are my ever-present help in times of trouble. You have great plans for my life so help me learn to ride out the roller coaster emotions when they come. Help me never to never forget these truths and live in the wonder of Your lavish love for me! In Jesus Name…Amen
If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
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DRAWING FROM THE WELL
If you have time, Read the book of Ruth. It’s only 3-4 pages long.
- Ruth 1: 13(b), 20-21
- Ruth 2:1, 5-10
- Ruth 4:13-17
- 1 John 3:1