Naomi — If and If Only
(Naomi’s Story: The Book of Ruth)
In the Word
“Do not call me Naomi; … for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20b).
Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse (Ruth 4:16).
Of the Word
“If I could … ” “If only I had … ” “If God would … ” Do those words echo in your mind? Let’s be honest! They do — for everyone — from time to time!
In the book of Ruth, imagine her mother-in-law Naomi’s thoughts, “If I could stay here in Bethlehem …” “If I only had my husband and sons beside me again …” “If God would just comfort my aching heart …” God had not forgotten her, though He may have seemed very far away. Moab was not Bethlehem, but Naomi survived there. The men of the family were dead, but two loving daughters-in-law remained. And finally, the “happily ever after” that erased the “if only” once and for all: the marriage of beloved Ruth to Boaz and the birth of little Obed.
In our lives, God is never far away. Even when His plans seem clouded by fears and troubles, we can trust Him. With the psalmist we can say, … I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God,” My times are in your hand; … (Psalm 31:14–15a).
Walking with my Lord
Lord God, forgive my “if” and “if only” thoughts when they are doubtful and fearful. Strengthen and help me trust Your plans for my ultimate good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Mustard Seed: Daughters of the King. Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer, authors. 9/34 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.