Are you convinced that God has made your life miserable? That his dealings with you are not fair? That God has it out for you? That’s how Naomi felt after her husband and two sons died. In fact, she changed her name to Mara—which means “bitter.”
[Naomi] said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
The power of prayer is that it is simply talking to God. No need for “thee’s” and “thou’s” and Christian idioms. Naomi doesn’t hide her grief. She decided to sign her name with the word, “Bitter.” But this story doesn’t end with Naomi desolate and abandoned. God’s story never does. God redeemed Naomi. Her faithful daughter-in-law remarried and had a son to carry on the family name. Naomi’s descendants include King David and the King of Kings.
I certainly don’t always understand how God works. When Naomi changed her name to Mara she wasn’t exactly saying, “I know God loves me and will somehow work all this out for my good.” But her story is yet another reminder of God’s love and grace. So, when you feel like changing your name to convey your feelings about God; just remember, he never changes. He is always faithful. He will never leave you or forsake you.
- Tell God all that is on your heart as you would unload your feelings to a good friend. Tell him about your desired name change.
- Ask God to heal the emotions of your heart and remind you that—even when you don’t understand what’s going on—he still has your back.
Father, for those whose hearts feel bitter toward you, surround them with your grace and love. When we can’t understand, give us the peace that passes all human understanding. Remind us that you are always faithful. In Christ’s name. Amen.
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