Life is hard. It is just a fact. And sometimes it can start being hard at a very early age. Before we are even equipped with the tools to know how to fight to defend ourselves, we have been wronged, deeply hurt. And sometimes the pain goes on and on. The world is a cruel place, and it is often hard to understand why God allows such suffering.
It could all be blamed on the fact that God has an enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. Or it could be blamed on certain people who are just mean, heartless, or bad. But anyway, God let it happen, so sometimes we blame God.
Things that happen to us mold us. Life events form us, and make us into who we are; but not just because they happen. It is what we do in response to what happens to us that changes us.
The fact is God is good and His Word is true. Everything else… well at best it is just fake. So we have to hold on to what we know is true.
In Matthew 6:9 Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That day will come, but it is not yet here. Still we long for that to be the way things are, and wonder why people can’t just do the right thing.
Bitter or better, yes, that is the question. They are like tiny seeds. Once we have been hurt, the soil is plowed and ready. Something is going to be planted. Let’s start with bitter. That is easy. No effort required. In fact usually you don’t get just one seed, there are many. Just dust off your hands, brace your self, and stand back. It won’t be long till there will be fruit on that vine, and the vines are aggressive. They grow rapidly depending on the soil, and will choke out other things you may try to grow. If you are not careful the vines may even trip you up as you try to go on with other things in your life. They have even been known to choke a person to death. You can always tell when a person is growing bitterness. It is evident on their face. There is a certain anxiety it causes.
On the other hand there is better. What is better? Forgiveness is better. It is what Christ offered us when He died in our place for our sins. He looked at us and loved us, and He could not let us go. So He died for us and said,“I forgive you.” Sentence overturned! But there is a catch. He expects us to do the same. Not to literally die on the cross, but to hang our bitterness there, and let it go. Instead we plant forgiveness.
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25.
Sounds impossible? “This is impossible for mere humans, but not for God, all things are possible for God,” Mark 10:27.
Father, I surrender my bitterness to you. I hang it on the cross and leave it there. Father give me the grace never to take it down or consider it again. Thank you for dying for my sins and for forgiving me. I forgive all those who have hurt me. I hold them blameless, because of you. I pray in your precious name, Lord Jesus.