Do you trust God’s kindness?
Do you believe He’ll to be good to you? Today? In that situation where you desperately need Him?
The Bible proclaims God’s kindness. It also tells stories of people, like Naomi, who allowed their circumstances to blind them to His tenderness.
Naomi believed God was kind — to other people. She told her daughters-in-law,
“May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.” Ruth 1:8 (NIV)
But Naomi thought God’s kindness for her had run out. Weren’t the graves of her husband and two sons proof?
“Call me Mara [bitter], 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.” Ruth 1:20-21 (NIV)
Has grief and disappointment ever distorted your perception of God? I confess that I’ve fallen prey to this. In such times, we reason that we would not allow our loved ones to suffer if we had God’s power. Since God permitted our pain, we conclude He must be angry with us or at the very least have forgotten us.
Living in the restrictions of time hinders our ability to comprehend God’s eternal wisdom.
Now I Believe
When Ruth came home from gleaning barley and reported how Boaz had been kind to her, Naomi’s perspective shifted. She exclaims,
“He [God] has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” Ruth 2:20 (NIV)
By the end of the book of Ruth, Naomi’s circumstances and perspective have flipped. She’s caring for Ruth’s infant son who will carry on the name of Naomi’s husband and sons. The town’s women gently remind Naomi that she had not returned home empty after all. God and Ruth came with her (Ruth 4:15).
Like Naomi, we miss God’s kindness when we dictate how it must look. Joseph, on the other hand, trusted God’s kindness even when he was in prison.
“The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” Genesis 39:21 (NIV).
If Joseph had focused on his chains and prison food, he would have dismissed this, blaming God for not preventing the injustice in the first place. He would have demanded his immediate release. But Joseph recognized God’s kindness even before he saw the fulfillment of God’s good purpose in his suffering.
The Lord poured out goodwill to both Naomi and Joseph in their losses. Naomi’s grief may have temporarily blinded her to God’s care, (which complicated her pain) but it didn’t stop God’s goodness.
God’s nature doesn’t change with our circumstances. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- Ask God to open your eyes to the evidences of His kindness.
- Thank Him for it, by faith.
- Look for His goodness.
Just as God used Naomi and Joseph’s losses to bring about greater good, He is at work in our stories for our good too.
Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.” Psalm 23:6 (TLB)
Copyright © July, 2018 Debbie W. Wilson, used with permission.