Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When Mothers Of Salem"1 (Lyrics)
Ruth 1:20-21 – "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me." (NIV)
Today our hearts go out to moms whose countenance is cast down with bitter anguish because their sons and daughters have succumbed to the devastations of addiction and related problems. The casualty count of this crisis among youth is alarming. But who is measuring the agony felt by the mothers? How can their joy be restored? Who can uplift their faces with renewed hope?
Consider Naomi, who also experienced a mother's grief. In her day, her nation's condition was much like ours: moral and political chaos, no strong leadership, people harassed and invaded, spiritual decline. Such an environment strains families and tears them apart. Youth become troubled, confused, and at risk. Often, it is the mothers who feel the anguish most deeply. "A foolish son [brings] grief to his mother." (Proverbs 10:1b NIV)
For Naomi, things got much worse. Famine forced her family to seek refuge in a foreign land. That's where she lost her two sons and her husband. We don't know why. Nevertheless, the grief was intense for Naomi. She returned to her homeland with nothing that she had once possessed, and she lamented bitterly as she reflected on her losses. All the family blessings had vanished. No descendants remained to bring her honour. Naomi felt the misfortune so intensely that she insisted on a name change: "Call me Bitter," she lamented. Poor Naomi! This downcast mother was desperately in need of a spiritual facelift — from the Almighty Himself.
Today's despairing moms, who lament over their offspring, may have difficulty imagining any uplift ahead. These moms will surely be encouraged by what God did for Naomi – and believe that God can touch their own family too … someday down the road … somehow … in some totally surprising way.
For Naomi, God sent the "facelift" in her old age: He restored her motherly joy through a grandson born to her daughter-in-law, Ruth. That made Naomi smile again. The other women were happy for her. With heartfelt joy, they proclaimed, "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age." (Ruth 4:14a,15a NIV)
Naomi got the facelift she needed through God's hand on her family. I encourage you to read the Book of Ruth through Naomi's eyes. Notice how it is presented from her perspective — especially the last chapter which describes her glorious upturn. She sets her grandson on her lap, like her own child.
As you sense Naomi's joy, it will surely overflow to you. You might even agree that the Book of Ruth is, in essence, an account of the ultimate facelift for moms.
Prayer: O great Joygiver, please uplift today's despairing moms with the hope of a future facelift performed through Your mighty hand. Help these mothers envision a time when joy glows on their faces, the outcome of Your merciful redemptive grace on their offspring. Amen.
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Very encouraging Diane. God bless.
May God turn these lost children around and have their mothers smile
Beautifully told and deeply touching.
Thank you, Diane.
That’s a big Amen sister.
Thank you for this wonderful and timely devotional. We lost our son on recently and our hearts are broken. But we know that in time we can be okay if we look to God for strength, wisdom, and courage!
Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Thanks for a great message for Mother’s Day! I am so fortunate with my children being good living people even though none of them go to church. I fell truly blessed today!
I hope all is well for you and yours.
This devotional really spoke to me today. I am so blessed. It really made me sit back and think. I have printed it to keep handy so I can think about what it says when I have quiet time. I will read the book of Ruth. Thank you so much for sending such a poignant and humbling piece.
Wow, what a well thought out and well written devotional.
Often those who have gone through the trials and fires of life have such wonderful insights to share.
May God bless you and make you a blessing.
Thanks for taking the time to write contributions to PresyCan Daily Devotional
Thank you for your poignant devotional. It really touched my heart. Although I will have children, and grandchildren to embrace this afternoon, my heart aches for my child who dwells in darkness in a far place. Blessings on your day.
Thank you so much Diane. I have read the book of Ruth many times but today this will be my special devotion, reading it with your inspired insight.
I look forward to your next devotional. Thank you again,
Hi Diane, and thanks once again for a relevant devotion. Having lost daughter two years ago, I identify with Naomi in feeling very bitter, despondent, and lost. While I have gone for counselling, I miss my girl so very much! While I cherish the one child we still have, a son, there are many times a mother just needs her girl.
I have to admit that if I hadn’t had my faith to carry me through, I don’t know how I could have continued. While each day is another day in which I miss my daughter, I also am making strides in searching for that new ‘different’, for once a mother has lost a child, life is never the same again, just different.
Thank you for your continued writing, as I do look forward to reading your devotions.
Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings
Thank you so much for your Devotional, Diane.
The Bible does not portray lives of sweet honey but as it is. So that we have an example how to approach so many difficulties in our world.
A friend told me yesterday that one of your devotionals was on that morning. I had not read it yet. Very good devotional, I love that story about Naomi and Ruth.
Thank you for those good words.
Thank you Diane for your devotion. It reminded me yesterday to think and pray for my friend who just recently lost her son to drugs. She recently told me a father who had lost a son came to visit her. She has gone away from her faith so I pray in this time of need she will draw close to her Lord again. Your devotion made us mindful of what others are going through so thank you.
Diane, you are so right, but it is difficult for mothers to wait when they watch their grown children going astray. If we did not have the comfort of knowing that God is in Control and that when we place our children’s future in his hands and leave it there, we can trust him to work things according to his will, we would despair.
Thank you for taking our emotions from sorrow to Joy in the Lord’s blessings.
Though I’ve never been a Mum (never married), I have appreciated friendship with many Mums.
May God continue to bless you in writing.