1 Now it came about in the days when the judges [a]governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab [b]with his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. 4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. 5 Then [c]both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. 7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, but we will surely return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is [d]harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.”
Something that has come up over the last few months is the idea that our trials are not from the enemy of our souls. No, he would rather we be fat, merry, and content. For then we might be too proud or too busy to pay any mind to God our creator.
Rather, our trials, our testing, our strife is often brought about by God, to show our character, to build more character, to make us more into His image. Our whole lives we are like a block of marble, but God is the master sculptor, and He has a plan to bring out the masterpiece in us. That’s not easy, or comfortable. If you could ask the marble, I’m sure it would agree 🙂
Naomi had it right, “the Lord has gone forth against me.” But whether she knew it or not, He was going against her for her good. She would see things she could not have imagined at this sorrowful time in her life. And amazing things (even kings) would come of her suffering that she would never see.
When you are struggling, hurting, and in pain, keep your eyes on Him, the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Trust Him through it all, and know that He will make beautiful things out of all the mess in your life.