Bitter old hag
I’m teaching Ruth in women’s Bible study this semester. This fascinating book stars two women who have very different views on life. Ruth is loyal, faithful, and her story is a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. Then there’s Naomi, who can only be described as a bitter old hag.
Guess which one I relate to?
There are a few verses in chapter one, where Naomi comes back from a pagan city where she’s been living for a decade. She’s lost her husband, her two sons and has a Moabite woman clinging to her. Family and friends gather around to hear what’s been going on in her life. Naomi basically explodes. She’s reaches the boiling point and lays it all on the ground before her community. She went away full and now she’s empty.
I can see why Naomi was bitter. And I can COMPLETELY relate to how she vents to anyone who would listen. It’s been a rough 10 years for her. What makes me pause, is the fact that her daughter-in-law is basically in the same situation. She lost her husband too, along with his father and brother, and her sister-in-law just turned around to go back home. Ruth left her entire family, her community, her religion and she has chosen to follow the bitter woman to a land where she will undoubtedly be shunned because of her background and circumstances.
And she doesn’t care. “Your people will be my people and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16) In a moment, on a dusty road to Bethlehem, Ruth confesses her faith in God, and God alone. She needs nothing else. And even though the odds are not in her favor, she trusts God to get her through.
Her faith was in Christ. Her name is also in Christ’s genealogy.
There are days when I feel like Naomi—it seems that I am running on fumes, and nothing will ever fill my bucket. Some days I wonder why the life I planned for myself, looks nothing like the life I planned for myself. When I feel that bitterness bubbling inside me (which it does more often than not,) I try not to complain about what I don’t have, but instead concentrate on WHAT I DO HAVE.
Like Ruth, sometimes you have to state the basics. God is good and God is faithful. He is more than enough. I am blessed beyond measure with digital friends who have taken a few moments out of their busy lives to come and read the random ramblings that pour out of my head. Although writing completely FILLS MY BUCKET each and every day, it’s the readers who make my cup runneth over. I am humbled each and every time I visit the comment section and my analytics page. Thank you for helping me get through the tough days.
And my Mama thanks you for helping me assuage my bad attitude. She always said that bitterness results in premature wrinkles. No one wants that.