"'Don’t call me Naomi,' she told them. . . . 'I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.'" - Ruth 1:21
Melanie’s family returned broken after a move to another state. The purpose of their move away had not worked out, and they had suddenly found themselves without a place to live and searching for a place to belong. With their independence gone and their pride bruised, they came back and opened themselves up to being helped by their local church. A family took them in and let them live in their house until they figured out what to do next.
There are times in our lives when we need to learn that community is there to support us in difficult times. We tend to think that we can do everything on our own, so sometimes we fail to see that the people God has put in place around us are there to support and lift us up when we can’t support ourselves.
Naomi and her family had left Bethlehem looking for a better life in Moab. But when she returned, she said that all she had had was taken away from her. Of course, God was still providing for her; she just couldn’t see it. In her bitterness and despair, she needed a community of support to come around her and fill her up again—and her community did just that.
In the difficult times of our lives, let’s remember that community is around us to strengthen us, build us up, and support us in everything we are going through.