20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me;the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
In the OT, a person’s name is often seen as expressing one’s personality or character. Here, exhausted, at the summary of the low point in her life, Naomi tells the women to no longer call her by her name.
Call me Mara, bitter, instead. The events of the years have marked her, unchangeably. She is scarred.
Aren’t we all? We don’t get through life without them.
The good news here is that even in her bitterness, Naomi (Mara), still acknowledges the Lord’s presence.
Can we see the Lord’s hand at work even and especially in times we might not choose? Indeed, God is sovereign in every situation. Thanks be to God in Jesus, who suffered for us on the cross, and is present in our suffering.