Bitter or Better
We all have something going on in our life that makes us either bitter or better. Is what’s happening being done for us, or to us? Are we growing bitter or better through it? Just as Adam and Eve didn’t take God’s instructions all that seriously, or enjoy the privilege of walking with Him daily, we ignore God, too...especially, while we are living in the “garden.” But when we get kicked out of the garden of life, so to speak, and when death, hardship, toil, and feeling distant from God comes into our lives, we might be more apt to take notice of God. And its then that we have to decide, will we get right with our Savior, or will we not? Will we take Jesus at His Word, will we walk with Him daily, getting better through the trials, or will we turn our back on Jesus, and grow bitter in the trials? If we turn our back, we may miss the whole point of the trials. God sometimes brings us to our knees so we will be brought near to Jesus.
I was there years ago, in the “garden.” I was busy, and happy, and seemingly not having a lot of time to spend with my Father in Heaven. I appreciated His Son, Jesus, on Christmas and Easter. I probably would have even gone to Heaven had I died, since Jesus was my Savior. With repentance, and forgiveness, I believed my sins were covered by His blood. But was I walking closely with Jesus? Absolutely not! Then disaster struck. I got kicked out of the garden, so to speak. Honestly, through those years, I wondered when the hammer would fall. No one escapes life without some sort of catastrophe. When mine came, I turned to Jesus and asked all the usual questions—starting with why? But quickly changing it into what now? That’s when the true journey with the Lord really began—that’s when the choice between bitter and better started taking its course, and continues to this day.
Have you seen the movie, “Soul Surfer”? It’s a true story of a young surfer who loses her arm to a shark. She thought her life was over, even though she lived through the attack. She wondered if she would ever surf again, or who would ever want to marry her? Now we know what happened afterward. We know she surfed again. We know she is married, and expecting a baby. Her life did go on. I saw her on The Amazing Race, and she was absolutely amazing! She not only competed, she exceeded a lot of the other contestants.
When Searching And Noticing the Divine, we can’t search into our futures to see what God is going to do. But to God, our today is like watching a movie from years ago. Our Father knows how it turns out for our good when we love Him, just like the horror of the Cross turned out for our good because Jesus loves us. Even if we are living without an arm, or someone we love, we have to hang tight to Jesus, and not let the “Sharks” in our life eat us alive. If we focus on the sharks, they can make us bitter, unforgiving, angry, guilty, etc... With Jesus as our focus, our internal life can get better and better even if our external life gets harder and harder. With our Hope in Jesus, we can fix our thoughts on what is eternal, and it will help us through each day, until we meet our Savior face to face.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)