Hopelessness, bitterness, anger, grief, and self-pity. These are the very real feelings and effects of emptiness we keep coming back to in Naomi's life (and probably our own at times as well).
Hopelessness - She thought there was no way out, a way for her life to get better. Redemption of a fulfilling life was still possible, but she was blinded to that hope because her life could now never turn out the way she had been envisioning it.
Anger and Bitterness - Her dream was no longer possible. How could God, who is supposed to be for us, in love with us, and in control, allow this to happen? It
made her doubt who God is, believing He was against her and probably punishing her.
Anger and bitterness are almost inevitable. They're also the lack of friendliness, contentment and generosity.
Grief - She lost her most valuable possessions, her husband and two sons. This requires grieving. Naomi doesn't seem to grieve much, but it doesn't mean she didn't. She may have thought grieving is a sign of weakness and in turn needed to remain strong in front of others.
Self-Pity - More discreet, this is seen when she does not receive the kindness of the women of the city. She was self-absorbed in unhappiness. She didn't want to be vulnerable or express need. She thought she could handle it on her own and probably that people were being fake.
All of these feelings and more, combined with the thoughts, can get really messy. They feed each other. What we feel is real, true emotion we are never to have guilt over. But the thoughts behind the feelings are not always true. And these can lead to not so good behaviors.
It's important to feel what we feel and not hide from it. Identify it for what it is. Then deal with it before God and in His truth - the only truth that can set us free! It is possible to live with constant hope in the midst of any feelings that different situations can create in us.
Don't miss the final part 4 next month!