But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” Ruth 1:20
Some people avoid bitter flavors, but nutritionists tell us many bitter foods are excellent for our health. Bitter melon, for example, is a cucumber-shaped melon that tastes very bitter, but it’s packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Cranberries are tart and bitter, but they can reduce inflammation, blood sugar, blood pressure, stomach infection, and tooth decay. Apple cider vinegar is also an elixir for health.
We all have bitter moments in life, but God has a remarkable way of using them for our spiritual and emotional well-being. The opening scenes of the short Old Testament book of Ruth describe the grief and hardship that befell Naomi. She wanted to change her name to Mara, which means “bitter.” But throughout the book, God worked in providential ways for her and her daughter-in-law, Ruth. And by the end of the story, Naomi was one of the happiest grandmothers in the Bible. Her life was filled with the mature blessings of God.
Charles Spurgeon said, “God not only takes away the bitterness and gives sweetness in its place, but turn the bitterness into sweetness itself.”
As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in His peace. F. B. Meyer