Naomi went from a completely hopeless and empty situation (in her eyes), to regained hope, to redemption and restoration at last through Boaz, Ruth and their son, Obed.
We navigated the deep emotions, thoughts and feelings of emptiness. And we asked the question, "was hope ever truly lost for Naomi?"
We often associate hope with a feeling. In the dictionary it is defined as a feeling. And it can be a feeling. But in Christ and through what He came to this earth to do for us on the cross, a future hope no matter our feelings and circumstances is certain - a promise not left forsaken or unfulfilled.
I Peter 1:3 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
It's never an "Oh, I hope he's right" with Jesus. It's rather a "He is true and I can bet my life on it. A better day IS coming." Hope in Him doesn't need to die or change through anything. We just have to believe, trust and walk in the truth of this confidently through every mountain top, valley and every feeling we have in its midst.
Some specific lessons learned:
1. The way we want and see for our lives is not always the best way. Our view is minuscule and lousy compared to God's best for us.
2. God is with us in our darkest moments even if we don't feel Him. He cares. He understands. He sees us. He wants us to simply be real with Him about it all. His focus is relationship - deep, fulfilling and satisfying. He is the only one that provides it perfectly. Our dark moments can reveal and bring us in to that.
3. It's not all about pleasing God or earning His favor. Naomi wasn't but it didn't matter. God's hand was still upon her very dark situation. He still loved her just as much as anyone else and had a good plan for her life.
4. People are out there that do genuinely care and want to help those in need. We need to let them (not everyone) in to our honest needs. Receive help and be ready to give grace when they try but may not get it right. Kindly tell them how they can help, even if it's to give you space. Reject the temptation of bitterness.