Painful and Bitter

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Ruth 1:20-21 NKJV)  But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. {21} “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?”

Observation: In just a few verses we read of all the reverses that Ruth and her family suffered.  First they had to leave their home and become immigrants in a foreign country.  Then, she became a widow, and then her two sons also died.  The last of her sorrow came when one of her daughters-in-law left her to go back to her own home.  About the only bright moment in the midst of all this darkness was when her daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose to stay with her and travel back home with Naomi.  Her bitter, painful experience led Naomi to ask that she be called Mara, reflecting the bitterness of her heart and life.

Application: My parents were married twenty-eight years until the afternoon, one early day in January, when my father suffered a massive heart attack that took his life and left my mother a widow.  For twenty-eight years they lived together, traveled together, and managed to have and raise six children.  The shock of her sudden change in her life and the loss of her life-partner plunged my mother into the darkness of pain and the bitterness of widowhood which caused her to loose more weight she should have and which cause her three children still at home to be very subdued and mask their own pain so they would not cause her any more pain than what she was already carrying in her heart and reflected in the black, mourning clothes she wore from then on and for over a year.  The closeness of the relationship between a husband and wife is so strong that it has been compared to gluing two pieces of paper and then trying to separate them – it doesn’t happen without causing damage to one or both.  And the longer a couple are married, the deeper their strong bond and their feelings toward one another; no wonder so many people pass on shortly after the death of their spouse – it is a separation some just simply cannot bear.  At the same time, what a wonderful thing it is to live together in the strong bonds of love and marriage with the person closest to you, your spouse.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, while the pain of the death of our spouse may come to us, I pray that our life together may be of such quality that we may live without regrets, and may the memories we’re building together carry us through the darkest, dreariest valleys of sorrow and pain.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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