Originally Posted by HardCory
February 24, 2009
Managing The Mess
READ: Ruth 1:15-22
Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? —Ruth 1:21
When we meet Naomi in the Scriptures, her life is a mess. She and her husband had gone to Moab searching for food during a famine. While in that land, their two sons married Moabite women, and life was good—until her husband and sons died and she was stuck, widowed in a foreign land.
Though honest about her pain, Naomi obviously had a sense of who was in control: “The Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me” (Ruth 1:21).
The Hebrew word for “Almighty” (Shaddai) indicates God’s sufficiency for any situation. The word “Lord” (Yahweh) refers to His faithfulness as the loving covenant-keeping God. I love how Naomi put these two names together. In the midst of her complaint, she never lost sight of the fact that her God was a capable and faithful God. And, sure enough, He proved His capability to deliver her and His faithfulness to care for her to the very end.
If there seems to be no way out of your despair, remember that Naomi’s God is your God as well. And He specializes in managing our messes to good and glorious outcomes. Thankfully, He is both capable and faithful. So, when your life is a mess, remember who your God is! — Joe Stowell
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last. —von Schlegel
Stand back and watch the Lord manage your mess into a glorious outcome.
Great devotional....too many people assume that if their life has problems, they simply don't have enough faith. As if faith could just wish away hard times. They don't stop to think that the Lord has a plan, and uses hard times to grow us spiritually. They don't think that if faith made every hard time go away, that people would become Christian for superficial reasons.
Naomi's words made me recall these verses:
Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version)
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We are not going to always understand why we struggle. But if we put God before us, instead of putting our struggle before us, we can handle it. As Naomi's use of God's names suggested, our God is sufficient and keeps the promises made to us in the Scripture.