Mara is My Name
By Jennifer Van Allen
Hi Mara! What your name is not Mara? Mara is found in the bible in Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. Why was Naomi bitter? Her life did not look like she had imagined it. At this point in her life, she should have been with her husband and her two sons. She could even imagine the happiness that would fill her heart with waiting for her first grandchild. That was not her life though. She had no husband and no more children. She was bitter.
Bitterness is feelings of anger or hurt because of a sense of unfair experiences that have happened.
When we get married there is a dream. We often imagine in our mind all the wonderful memories we will make during our life together. We don’t imagine the struggles that will take place in between those memories we make.
You have married a sinner and you are a sinner. Add being together in commitment for 50 years in a sinful world, that will equal your struggles.
One day after one event though you had enough. You were tired of the unfair experiences. Your heart began to keep locked away a part that was bitter.
Now you tell yourself you will deal with that bitter heart, when your spouse deals with his sin. My dear friend the Lord is saying, I deal with each of my children separately. Your bitterness is really against me.
Your bitterness is saying that God did not keep His promise. The promise that you can have joy.
That doubt brings whispers when you go to sleep. When you are putting the dishes away. They began sometimes as you are pouring the milk in the glass. The bitterness grows silently, in its tucked away spot. The dark cloud in your heart whispers, is God like those men that I have seen?
Maybe you could be called Mara? Maybe it is difficult to say that? But if that is your name, God already knows.
The Lord answers with a heart of compassion. Come to me my daughter, so I can make you white as snow. He is saying I need to clean you up. You can be clean no matter what sinful behaviors your husband has been participating in this week. You can feel joy because I am loving you.
The Lord can be trusted and cleaning your bitterness is the good that the Lord has for you.
Lord help us. Help us to see bitterness that has taken form in our hearts. Help us to repent. Lord help us to be as white as snow. Bring us that joy that you promised. The promise that can happen in our imperfect lives.
Jennifer Van Allen