“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. —Ruth 1:20

            Bad things happen in a fallen, sinful world.  Death has happened ever since sin entered the world.  Sin has caused our world to degenerate from the glory of Eden to what we have today with all the sickness, sadness and violence.  Man was warned this would happen if they chose their own way and not God’s way (Genesis 2:15-17).  Yes, disobedience brought sin and death into this world.  Let us not blame God.  Mankind/We brought this on ourselves.  Now… do we think God’s way is better?  I hope we have learned the hard lesson.

            How do we handle these difficulties of life?  Do we look to our Lord or do we become bitter.  Naomi had a pleasant life, which is what her name means— pleasant.  After they moved to Moab from Bethlehem her husband and two sons died.  She was left with two Moabite daughters-in-law.  One went back to her home and Ruth (name means “friendship”) went with Naomi.

            Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth.  When she was arrived and was greeted she said, ““Don’t call me Naomi (pleasant),” she told them. “Call me Mara (bitter), 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).  How sad that she wanted to known as “bitter.”

            But what about us when life goes from being pleasant to challenging circumstances coming upon us.  Do we become bitter and want people to know our bitterness or do we look to our Lord for help through the circumstances.  Again, difficulties will come upon us at one time other another and in different degrees.  We probably have already gone through some.  What was our attitude as we went through them?  What will our attitude be when other trials come upon us?  As we go through difficulty we can have either a positive or negative impact on people depending on our attitude.  Will we shine for Jesus during dark times or will we allow dark times to cause us to act darkly?  Oh, that we would shine for Him!  And may we have at least one friend that will stick with us through it all as Ruth did for her mother-in-law!

 “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).

Dear Father please help me not to become bitter during dark circumstances when things may be very difficult.  Please help me to be faithful and live according to Your desires even in those times by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.  May it be so!

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