2020 was a difficult year for most of us. However, as in all things, God intended 2020 (and 2021) for our good as Believers. So let’s reflect on last year and look forward to the rest of this equally crazy (or dare I say, even crazier) year from this perspective (with a little help from our Bibles, of course).
“Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has pronounced judgment on me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? ” So Naomi came back from the land of Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth the Moabitess. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Ruth 1:20-22
Once, there was a woman named Naomi, which literally means “pleasant”, who left town (in rebellion to God’s word) with great expectations for the future. When things didn’t work out though, she decided to go back home. She was bitter that God didn’t honor her plan and she wanted everyone to know it.
However, Naomi was so busy mourning that she failed to recognize the blessings all around her. Yes, the Lord took away her husband and sons, BUT it was unfair to God to say that he sent her back ‘empty’ and ‘afflicted’. Let’s count her blessings to help us remember how to count our own:
1. God brought her back alive. She was the only surviving member of her original family unit.
2. God brought Naomi and Ruth back just in time for a bountiful barley harvest. In God’s perfect time, he provided provision once more. What a wonderful change from famine and starvation!
3. Above all, God brought Naomi back with Ruth, a zealous young daughter in law who pledged her undying support just a few verses earlier. (Maybe it’s just me, but to say this type of ungrateful statement when Ruth would most likely find out is totally disrespectful and mean. What a slap in the face it would be to find out that the person you just gave up everything for (out of love) counted your love and devotion as nothing worth rejoicing over. However, in our grumpy moments, we need to be cautious not to hurt those closest to us. Instead, thank God for them and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Gratitude can do a wonder in your heart and theirs! 😌)
Let’s not miss our blessings any longer because we are distracted counting our losses, like Naomi! Yes, some of our friends and family members are no longer with us and evil appears to be thriving worldwide. However, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh.” (Job 1:21) So let’s stop bashing 2020. Instead, let’s reflect on last year and look forward to the balance of this year with humble, grateful hearts.
What are your thoughts/reactions? Share your feedback in the comments section below!