This is our fourth and final article from my friend, Gracious Chifamuna, who has agreed to share lessons she learned after she tragically lost her husband.
Her words are below:
No doubt, mourning is painful! However, if we remain faithful to God, we will receive comfort, healing, and restoration.
I believe that God is in the business of writing beautiful stories -God stories even through pain. Join me today as I share my thoughts on Naomi’s story!
I must admit, Ruth and Naomi’s story has become one of my favourites, of course have many! For a lot of people when they think of the book of Ruth, they think of it as an awesome love story-story of how Ruth meets and marries Boaz. In most cases less attention is given to Naomi. Today I want to focus on Naomi and her grief journey.
In a foreign land Naomi lost her husband and two children. Naomi then decides to go back home, after hearing that the Lord had come to the aid of His people. Ruth chose to go with Naomi. One can only imagine her pain- going back home empty-handed. Though we do not know Naomi’s first reaction to her loss like Job we read painful statements from her. Firstly, she said to Orpah and Ruth; “It is more bitter for me than for you because the Lord’s hand has turned against me.” Ruth 1vs13. When she arrived in Bethlehem she said, “do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life bitter. I went full but the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1vs21. Naomi was still grieving; she was in pain. What challenges me is how she acknowledged the fact that it was God who had made her life bitter not the devil.
In my second article I mentioned how Jesus when confronted with the cross went back to His Father. Job did the same as well, “the Lord gave, and the Lord took away.” Last week I mentioned the devil’s mission on earth-kill, steal and destroy and I do not undermine his mission. However, it is not the devil who oversees our lives. God Almighty is! God builds, not destroy, gives life -does not kill, restores not steal! Sadly, how he builds, give life, and restores might bring pain. He works in mysterious ways-I love that. We cannot teach or instruct God-Job 21vs22 and Isiah 40 vs 13, we can only trust Him. Naomi had no idea of what was coming, she had no idea that through her loss, God was writing a beautiful story. All she did in her grief journey was to remain faithful to her God.
Last week I
However, we clearly know the end, God was writing a redemptive story for you and me. Certainly, we might not be able to explain all that goes around us, but we can have confidence in our God who knows the Beginning and End.
Naomi’s life was later restored! Naomi was comforted- God gave Naomi a daughter in law who loved her, “…who loves you and who is better than seven sons.” Not only that, but she also features in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus! Godly pain does not destroy, it builds.
I think of what is going around us at a global level-there are many theories and explanations. Many people are confused and scared. Some have not just lost a loved one but loved ones. Some have lost businesses and jobs. Some people are now empty like Naomi. The global pandemic has turned too much of a “personal pandemic” to some. There is deep pain and agony. Many are grieving and its allowed. My challenge to each one of us is to focus on God. The more we focus on God, His word, study all the stories in the Bible, the more we see the light and hope amidst of deep pain! He cares, He loves us, He is in charge and He has never lost a battle. Yes, He is still writing beautiful God stories! Let us remain faithful to Him.
The fact that it is painful, the fact that it hurts, the fact it is not adding up, it does not necessarily mean that it is from the devil.
Believers do not just mourn.
Believers mourn with hope!
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas