Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.”
Many people are scared about saying what they really feel about God or to God. But the Bible is filled with real, honest, hard conversations about and to God. Naomi blames God for her pain and suffering! She changes her name to declare to everyone how “bitterly” God has dealt with her! But there is hope. Her home town “Bethlehem” literally translates to “house of bread”. Naomi’s family ran from Bethlehem because there was no “bread”, but God has brought “bread” once again. God is up to something, but in her bitterness, Naomi cannot fully see that. But Naomi shows that we can be honest and real with our thoughts, emotions, and attitudes before God. God is at work even when we cannot see clearly and God provides for Naomi no matter how bitter she is. He has not abandoned her… or us!