From Ashes to Eternity
She called herself bitter. She said her life was empty. She thought that God had afflicted her and purposely brought misfortune upon her life. Her life was a heap of ashes.
Perhaps Naomi had good reason for such despair and self-pity. A drought had taken away her family's provision and security, forcing them to move into a foreign land to seek food. Sickness has stolen her husband and both of their sons to early deaths. And now she returned home without money, family or any real hope for a legacy. Legacies and heirs were so important in that time and place. And yet she was too old to start over. She knew that she was doomed to live out the rest of her life in the cursed poverty and shame, with not one to take care of her or carry on her husband's name.
And yet there was so much that she could not see. Even after her son's death her widowed (former) daughter-in-law Ruth refused to leave her side. That faithful young friend caught the eye of a wealthy kinsman redeemer, Boaz, a close relative who could play a role in the restoration of her family. As part of the kinsman redeemer role, Ruth's first child would be counted as the offspring of her first husband, Naomi's son, and the family legacy would be restored.
Not long afterwards Naomi held her grandson Obed in her arms as her friends praised the LORD for restoring her family line. They blessed her, saying "May he become famous throughout Israel." That child's grandson became King David, father of Solomon, the two most famous kings in the history of Israel.
The genetic line of David continued for generations, extending to birth King of all Kings and LORD of all LORDS, Jesus Christ himself. At one point Naomi was absolutely certain that her life was hopeless with no chance of producing an heir or legacy. In the end her line produced the greatest kings and the greatest legacy of all time and history.
How quick we can be to declare worthlessness and hopelessness amidst life's many challenging situations. But let's not forget that we cannot see how God sees, and we have no idea what immeasurable blessing lie in store for us on the other side of the trials, or even sometimes right through them.
Scripture references: The Book of Ruth, Specifically Ruth 1:20-21; 4:1-22