Friday, March 9, 2012

The Bitterness Root

Crows know. Perhaps by instinct, eyesight or a combination of both, but they know.

I enjoy watching a variety of birds frequent our feeders and bird bath. In spite of the numerous other places to find water, they love to bathe, drink and socialize at the bird bath.

Filling the fountain is a simple job, but for some reason-laziness I suppose, I let it remain empty for days at a time. When I finally fill it, the crows immediately know. They’re not sitting in the surrounding trees waiting, but they know. And they quickly descend on the bird bath. Water is necessary, and God drives them to what sustains life.

When times of severe testing arrive-episodes followed by confusion and anxiety over what’s around the next sharp curve, I too follow my instinct. But it doesn’t always drive me to what satisfies. If I’m not careful, my self-efforts to fix things result in bitterness.

The writer of Hebrews warns about the bitterness root: See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15) And James offers the correct response: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds. (1:2)

Surrender is opposite of bitterness and God’s desired response. Surrender acknowledges God’s control in initiating or allowing the test. When under his control, matters are never out of control. Surrender submits to whatever he brings that makes us more like him. Bitterness will move one farther from God. Let surrender snuggle you deeply in his loving arms.

Prayer: Lord, when we’re tempted to distrust Your wisdom, remind us Your love always acts in our best interest working all things together for good.

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