and many people died from the waters that had become bitter…. (Revelation 8:11).
If we swim in seas of bitterness, we will surely drown in despair. As our heart despair of hope, joy dies. It dies in the place of our wound, the place we just cannot seem to let go. The place we demand God for justice (our idea of justice) and we won’t be satisfied until justice comes in our timing and in our way.
Many Christians have died in seas of bitterness. I have been tempted to swim in its waters as well. When I’ve been wronged, neglected or forgotten, it’s easy to become bitter. It’s easy to allow what I wanted or what happened to me to become my focal point and steal my joy. It’s easy to let that situation fester inside my heart and mind until a root of bitterness springs up in my heart and mind.
Bitterness is a terrible pill to swallow. It only holds your captive, making you believe that it has something to offer. Instead, It is like wormwood to the soul. Bitterness not just directs our thoughts, but our actions as well. It keeps us from loving people well because it locks love away behind the bars of our demand for justice. Justice in our way and in our time.
The only way to set bitterness free is to unlock it with love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Yes, that person hurt you. Yes, what happened seemed unfair. Yes, it was not right, but we must learn to release what we wanted and exchange it with the love and grace of God. We must submit ourselves to the Master of mercy who heals broken souls and takes the wounds of our lives and makes all things new. He is a mighty God. We need not become HIs hand of justice, instead, we must allow ourselves to become instruments of His mercy so that He might write a new song in our hearts. A song that goes out to the world that says, although life has met me with hardships, I trust in the one who is leading me. He has a great love for me. He is all I need.
Father, let that be the song of my heart. Truly, you are so good. You are the master of mercy. May I sit in the shade of it. Father, give us the grace we need to love others well. Shower us with your love, we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.