Thursday, December 13, 2012

Times of Trouble: Ruth or Naomi?

We've all heard the phrase "Are you a Mary or a Martha?" (and we all know the "correct" answer, too!) at some point in our lives, but I think another question we as Christian women need to ask ourselves is "Am I a Ruth or a Naomi?" Which Biblical woman to we best portray when life seems unbearable?

I am studying in the book of Ruth right now, and it never ceases to amaze me how kind and considerate Ruth appears to be. Here's a woman who has literally lost almost everything dear to her, and yet I still envision her as being tender, compassionate, and content. After her husband's death, she could have just said waved goodbye to her mother-in-law and gone back to the comfort and security of her own family, but she didn't. She chose begged Naomi to let her go with her back to Judah. (Ruth 1:16) And, it's not as though Naomi was much fun to be around anyway!Ruth saw that her mother-in-law needed her, and chose to move to a different country in order to help take care of her. She put Naomi's needs first.

Naomi handled the deaths of her husband and sons in a way that I think most of us would: feelings of betrayal, emptiness, and despair. It's healthy to grieve. It's natural. Jesus Himself wept when He heard news of Lazarus' death. But Naomi didn't grieve for a season. No, she turned into a completely different person. She gave up all hope, instead of trusting that God had everything in control.

“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)
The good news is that Naomi didn't stay bitter forever. God was able to work in and through her heart, and she was able to experience joy once again. Still, I can't help but wonder what Naomi missed out on in that time. 
So, as I look towards what it means to be a Godly woman of Excellence, I need to question how I'm going to respond to difficult times: Will I handle them like Ruth, or Naomi? It was through asking myself this very question 3 months ago that got me through one of the hardest times in my life-the miscarriage of my second child. Was I going to stay bitter and miss out on all the other wonderful things God was doing? Or was I going to grieve for the baby lost, but know that ultimately my Joy rests in God alone, and trust in Him to see me through? I chose the latter. I chose (and still do choose!) to be like Ruth

What about you? Which woman to do most likely relate to in hard times? Which woman do you strive to be like in hard times?

No comments:

Post a Comment