For so many of us, to say life has been difficult would be an understatement. Those days of carefree living seem to be such a distant memory. Joy seems all too hard to come by anymore and peace is something we now only read about in history books. Something has changed in our nation; something has changed in us.
As of late, many people have pointed at the leadership of our country and the unfortunate decisions that have been made. Many have become angry with the president. The greater tragedy however is that bitterness spreads like wild fire. This has resulted in animosity spilling out of the political arena into our relationships with one another. When people don’t see eye to eye, hostility can well up within and suddenly friends become the worst of enemies and families are fragmented.
This bitterness has become prevalent both among nonbelievers and believers. Suddenly we are looking at everything and everyone with a critical eye. Every word and deed is under the microscope and we have taken the position of examiners. Parents are competing against other parents and ministries against ministries. Bitterness has become as widespread as the plague. It’s as if it has polluted our very reservoirs.
In Revelation eight, it speaks of seven angels with trumpets. Among them, was the third angel whose trumpet blast unleashed a star named Bitterness, also known as Wormwood. It fell into the rivers and fountains and as men drank the waters, they died. We ourselves may not have poisoned the water, but we were never forced to drink it. We did that all on our own. We must see that bitterness has poisoned our hearts, causing chasms between us and others, including God. Only then will bitterness be able to be removed from within us.
I believe the only cure for a bitter heart is an anguished heart. One of the meanings of anguish is a “profound passion.” We need to so deeply desire the best for anyone we have been resentful towards, that our hearts literally ache with agony. May we cry out as King Hezekiah when faced with the bitterness of a life threatening illness. “This anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death” (Isa. 38:17 NLT). His transformation from bitterness to anguish was the key to a renewed heart and body. I pray it be the same for us.