I just have to make one more comment about Naomi’s homecoming to Bethlehem. Her complaint about God reveals her deep emotion, her great sorrow for the past, and her hopeless view of her future. Ruth 1:21 says,
“I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.”
None of us can deny the truth of Naomi’s loss. I cannot even imagine what she must have felt after having lost her husband and two beloved sons. But examine her statement about being “empty.”
Close beside her stood Ruth, the daughter-in-law who had proclaimed her love and determined faithfulness at the beginning of the journey to Bethlehem. Ruth had suffered loss herself. She too experienced the death of her husband, and she was childless after years of marriage. Her heart was broken like Naomi’s. But it is apparent that she was in this thing with Naomi to the death. As the story unfolds, we will see that Ruth is the source of Naomi’s life changing direction. Naomi will be restored. Her heart will be full again.
We can feel completely devastated, drained of our very lifeblood, and yes, empty after a tremendous loss. It is normal to experience that kind of emotion. But don’t miss the fact that God brings life from death. He is the very source of Life and Resurrection. If we stay too long in the empty, bitterness of our own pain, we may not see our own resurrection though it stands as close as Ruth was to Naomi.
Lift your eyes from your weeping, dear sister. No one denies you have a right to cry. Just acknowledge that there is One standing close by you. Consider Jesus. Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning. There is still life in your future. Look for the sunrise!