“Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi”(Ruth 4:16, 17).
Naomi is one of the most resilient women who faced adversities in sacred history.
With the death of her husband and her two sons, she was left exposed to poverty, discouragement, and rejection. Fortunately, sweet Ruth committed herself to help her unconditionally: «For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God» (Ruth l: 16). But Naomi’s deep wounds had not yet healed. We see it when mother-in-law and daughter-in-law return to Bethlehem and the people from the city recognize her and welcome her, calling her by her name, Noami, which means «my joy,» «Jehovah’s delight» «pleasant,» and charming.» » ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara [bitterness]! ‘ » (Ruth 1:20), was Naomi’s answer. Such was her suffering. However, though she did not understand the reason of the suffering, Naomi never ceased trusting God.
But God had a happy ending in store for her. Once again, Ruth is the instrument God uses to put an end to the misfortune in Naomi’s life. Ruth becomes the main support of the small and impoverished family. This is followed by a love story that has been a source of delight and learning for generations to come. With grace and humility Ruth charms Boaz who, as a close relative, ends up recuperating the family’s property and also redeeming Ruth by marrying her. Seeing this union between her daughter-in-law and the wealthy and virtuous man, Naomi must have forgotten all her sadness to begin a quick path to recovering the meaning of her name: «My joy”.
Her joy was complete with the arrival of Obed, the first son from Ruth and Boaz’s marriage. We then see Naomi with the child on her bosom and her neighbors saying, «There is a son born to Naomi!» This joy was not only for to the people involved but also for the entire nation of Israel, because through Ruth, the Moabites, the genealogy of the Messiah was restored since Obed is King David’s grandfather and one of the links in Jesus’s direct lineage (Matt. 1:5, 6).
For the believer, a tragic period of suffering entails a learning experience and never a defeat. Face this day with the mindset that after the storm comes peace; and reflect on Naomi’s deep pain that was transformed into immeasurable joy.