From Mara to Mama

Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:16-17 ESV)

In her own words Naomi left Bethlehem “full” and returned “empty.” She made it clear to the women who greeted her up on her return that everything had changed–even her name. “Don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara.” Don’t call me pleasant, call me bitter. In the years that had transpired in Moab, Noami had drunk the bitter waters and they affected every ounce of her being. She was a bitter woman.

These same women are back on the scene. Again Naomi is the center of attention. Again they are excited for her. This time bitterness has been replaced with celebration. Hopelessness has been displaced by hope. The whimper of a baby boy can be heard on Naomi’s lap. The scene is quite dramatic. It appears that the women have gone to Ruth’s house, asked for the newborn baby, and brought him to Naomi’s house. Or rather they have visited Boaz’s and Ruth’s house where Naomi has come to see the newborn, and they take the baby from Ruth and hand him off to Naomi. However the scene unfolds, these women play an interesting role.

And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” Mara had become mama. Empty had become full. Hopeless had become hopeful. Poor had become rich. Listless had become enthusiastic.

God specializes in turning Maras into Mamas. He specializes in making saints out of sinners. He isn’t intimated by your past, isn’t confused by your circumstances. Your predicament is no problem to him. Your mess is easily his masterpiece. Come to Him. Give him yourself.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)