SHE SAID, HE SAID. by MAYESO MAZENGERA
Naomi’s name was such a powerful word of blessing over her life. When she went through tragedy however, she saw her circumstance and not God’s promise. God named her sweetness but she declared she was “bitter”. How often do we confess different from what God has spoken? How often are our feelings and circumstances louder to us than God’s word? We are weak and often can be overwhelmed by the raging storm, but His voice stills the gale and brings calm on the turbulent sea. Will we listen to that voice?
Naomi is us. She left the land of her inheritance in search for food and only came back for the same. The Bible records that she came back when she had heard that “God had visited His people and given them food.” Was she no longer one of His people? She was so far gone from promise that she did not see it as God providing even for her, but rather that He had visited those who had been faithful and she left for home on the off chance that she too, would be fed. She did not go home out of repentance or a desire for home. She had left because of hunger and she was returning because of hunger. She is so many of us -fair weather believers following the blessing not the blesser. Following our stomachs and not God. Yet living with so much guilt that when things take a turn for the worse of for the tragic, we are convinced it is divine punishment for our faithlessness.
Blaming God is easy. Naomi in her understanding came to the conclusion that it was God who was the cause of all her sorrow. She says “for God has dealt bitterly with me… I left full but now am empty.” The enemy will convince us that our misfortune is because God has abandoned us or that He is punishing us. Was the death of her family tragic? Yes. But how many of us blame God in hard seasons? Or indeed blame him when we receive the consequences of disobedience? Did not our first father blame Eve and in doing so blame the one who had created her? It should come as no surprise then that whether it be a consequence of disobedience or just the season and time for certain occurrences, it is God we often blame. Job’s servant declared that it was the fire of God that had killed Job’s children yet the Bible clearly states that it was the devil who was attacking Job. Yet God remains gracious and faithful. Yet God does respond, He does answer. The one we blame for our pain chooses to comfort us even as we speak against Him. Still He breathes his life into us while we think the worst of Him.
Naomi was not a bad person. She was a broken and bitter woman who had endured tragedy threefold and returned to her hometown, she felt, with nothing. Yet unknown to her she had returned with a precious gift in the person of her daughter in law. Such a gift that when Naomi held her first grandson, the women told her that Ruth was worth more than seven sons . Naomi had thought she came back empty, but the conduit of her blessing had stubbornly followed her home and had refused to leave her, she had more than she knew. She just hadn’t seen it yet. God reveals himself through the meaning of Ruth’s name, He was a friend when she didn’t even know she had one. You have more than you know. You have everything you need in the person of Christ