Journal for Christa—
Sometimes we need to push through things. We need to struggle against the current regardless. Then at times we need to go with the tide; and if it’s going out, let it carry us beyond. Wisdom is knowing the difference.
But, often the real struggle comes when it’s all over. If we aren’t careful, after we’ve weathered the storm and come through fairly unscathed (or all beat up), that’s when the bitterness sets in.
Remember Jonah? Jonah endured three days in a fish, preached to the Ninevites, witnessed their unlikely repentance, and eventually found himself sitting in the shade of a plant in the heat of the day; and then—at such an unexpected time, bitterness gripped him.
Whatever is a Jonah to do? Two things seem to help me when I hear that cynical tone in my voice and the anger clutching my throat: One is to acknowledge and accept that God is sovereign. I may feel like I’ve been tossed upon an untrodden shore, but wherever that shore is, God has put me there. The second is thankfulness. Bitterness focuses on me and the unfairness of it all. Gratefulness focuses on God and His sustaining hand. I don’t always do these things, but I wish I did.
So, when the storm is over—and you look in the mirror to see that you’re still in one piece, don’t let down your guard. Bitterness just may sit in the next room.