“I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
Ruth 1:21, NKJV
Naomi exclaims that the Lord had left her empty. But that was not true. He had given her a daughter-in-law of noble character. This woman would end up being better to her than seven sons. (Ruth 4:15) But her bitterness had kept her from recognizing the provision of God. It had disabled her from seeing His goodness by faith. That is why the Bible warns us not to become embittered: See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15, NIV)
How many times do we let bitterness blind us to the point of missing the grace of God in our lives? When we only see the affliction and not the hand of God, we begin the blame game. We wrongly rail against God because our own human understanding cannot fathom the truth that Solomon would later pen: “The end of a thing is better than its beginning….” (Ecclesiastes 7:8) In our impatience, we fail to allow God’s grace to see our trials through the eyes of faith.
Had Naomi stopped staring at the circumstances, she would have noticed the beauty, majesty and miracle of God’s faithfulness in the little Moabitess woman who refused to leave or forsake her in the midst of distress. Through the eyes of faith, rather than the emptiness of her bitterness, she would have seen the fullness of God’s blessing.
QUESTION: Have you ever been blinded by bitterness? Is there a provision of God that your anger has kept you from recognizing?