Ruth: The Name of Naomi

I ‘ve always thought the name JOY was a beautiful descriptive name but a tough name to have if you are going through a hard time or something tragic.

Joy would be a name you would feel you had to live up to. Not a bad thing really until she feels sadness or grief.

Naomi is the same. Naomi means several things but the gist is something similar to the name Joy. It can mean: pleasant, sweet, or sweetheart, my delight, my joy, lovely’. What we name our children is important to their story. Maybe Naomi’s birth bought great pleasure and delight to her parents or they named her pleasant or delightful, because that is what they wanted for her and for those who met her. It is a lot to live up to though, when your kids are not well or circumstances are not going great. When you have faced grief, loss and disappointment, delightful and pleasure can be cruel names to live up to.

Naomi..a daughter who bought joy and delight, faced great tragedy and grief. This impacts her so much she is wanting to change her name. Every time someone calls her joyful or pleasant or delightful it is like a mockery. On returning to Bethlehem she actually requests not to be called Naomi???just like someone called Joy would want a name change if only for a little while , while they deal with the tragedy and bitterness in their heart.

Even as a Christian …God can called me a thousand beautiful names himself and if life has dealt me any type of sadness and pain and his names for me bear no witness to what I am feeling, I struggle to let his names sit well on me. It may feel is like a mockery but God is not mocking us…he is calling us to live according to the names he has given us. He is writing a story to turn our bitterness into sweetness. Her name was prophetic. He turning her mourning into dancing, her grief into joy. At no time her name become Mara despite her life being proof of that name.

I have known deep grief and the ache of an orphaned heart but also the joy of being gathered up in the arms of a Father who calls me by name and tells me I am his own. When I have denied my name and cursed the names he has declared over me, he comforts me and reminds me that my story is not finished and grace will lead me home.


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