In early September, we witnessed the natural disaster of Hurricane Dorian and the devastating effects it had on the Bahamas and the east coast of the United States. With winds reaching up to 185 mph, Hurricane Dorian claimed over 60 human lives with over 600 people still unaccounted for. It is regarded as the country’s worst natural disaster in history.
As I looked at photos of Hurricane Dorian’s after effects, I saw countless homes in shambles and thousands of people in devastation. Reading one particle article, a single sentence grabbed me. A twelve-year-old boy described Dorian like this. “It was like opening the door to hell itself.”
While it is very unlikely we would ever experience a Hurricane Dorian, we do all face storms of various kinds in our own lives. Storms of mental and physical sickness, addiction, job loss, poverty, death, and so forth. These storms cripple us in many ways. We often feel like things are going from bad to worst and we may even doubt God’s presence. We don’t hear Him. We don’t see Him. Our prayers seem to go unanswered. We question if we will even survive through the storm. It’s a place where we feel helpless and powerless.
That is exactly what Naomi went through. She faced the greatest storms of her life, found in the book of Ruth of the Bible. A famine in Judah caused Naomi and her family to move to the foreign land of Moab. While there, her husband passed away and her two sons were married to foreign wives, Ruth and Orpah. Catastrophically, both of her sons died and Orpah departed back to her people. Only Ruth remained. During this period in her life, Naomi could only say “The almighty has made my life very bitter” (Ruth 1:20b).
However, what Naomi failed to realize was that in the greatest storm of her life, God was working for her good and His glory. She was so concentrated on the devastation of her storm that she didn’t notice the signs of hope that God had placed before her. She didn’t see her God-fearing daughter-in-law. She didn’t see that the famine that plagued Israel for years had been lifted. She didn’t see God’s provision of bringing her back to her home land. Ultimately, she didn’t see the blessings that would bring about her good and God’s glory.
Now, before we judge Naomi too harshly, we need to stop and take a look at ourselves. Sometime, we too get too wrapped up in our own misery, troubles and struggles that we fail to see the blessings that would bring about our good and God’s glory. Unfortunately, it’s in times like these that we walk by sight and not by faith. I don’t pretend that walking by faith is easy; especially in times of difficulties. But the Word of God tells us that it is possible.
Walking by faith lets us know that God is there, that He has never left us nor forsaken us, that we can trust Him and take our refuge in Him when storms come our way. When we make Him our Lord, we walk by faith experiencing God’s guidance, grace and goodness.
I’m happy to report that Naomi’s story has a happy ending (you’ll have to head to your Bible to read all of the details). Ultimately, Naomi’s bloodline is preserved through Ruth and Boaz. The family line is the descendants of King David and most importantly, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This is the good that God was working for. This is the glory that God was plotting all along.
May the story of Ruth and Naomi encourage you. That in our darkest times, when the storms of life are devastating, remember, God is working for our good and His glory.