Ruth 1:5 (NIV): “Both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.”
I will always remember being told over the phone by my wonderful wife that our youngest daughter had died. She was 21. We were in Germany. She died half a world away. As I drove to our home in a German village, I wailed. I didn’t know what wailing was until that moment. It was and continues to be the deepest hurt I have ever experienced in my life. I get teary eyed simply remembering the event.
My hurt, as deep as it was, pales in comparison to Naomi’s hurt. She lost her husband first, and then ten years later both of her sons died. When she returned to her home, with a daughter-in-law that came with her, she chose to be called “Bitter.” In that culture, she felt that all was lost.
I have encountered others that have every reason to be bitter in response to death’s visitation. I really don’t want to be part of the “club” of parents who have lost children. It is simply our reality. The hurt really never goes away.
Now then, there is a rest of the story.
In Naomi’s case, her daughter-in-law ended up marrying a man named Boaz who provided a son who carried on the name of Naomi’s husband. Her bitterness was replaced with joy as she held her grandson, Obed. Of course Obed became the grandfather of King David. We really don’t know the rest of the story. God knows.
For me, I already know that my daughter’s death inspired others to follow Jesus. I may never understand the complete rest of the story in my lifetime. Still, I choose to understand that God does.
Prayer: Almighty God, death hurts. I know that I still hurt because of death’s visitation. Still, I know that You continue to be on Your throne. I may not fully understand the rest of the story You have for me, but I do understand that You love me and continue to have a story for me that is aligned with Your plans and purposes.