A Root of Bitterness Part 2

In this article we want to turn our attention to the root of bitterness that may grow in us as a result of circumstances of life. Some of us may go through circumstances that seem unfair or unjust, while others might come to a place in life where they feel like the course of their life is beyond their control. During these times we may feel a sense of entrapment. We don’t like where we are, but we can’t see how things can change or get any better. We usually reflect back on our lives to see where we went wrong? We want to find the reasons for our predicament, so we would have an explanation for the way things are. Some of us find our explanations in the choices we made, while others blame their spouse or other people in their lives. The bottom line is we don’t like the outcome and having to live with this outcome could cause us to become bitter. We find many people in the Bible who felt this way. Naomi is one example of such a person, who for a time felt bitter because of the way her life turned out. We find her story in the book of Ruth. Naomi had a husband and two sons, they decided to move from Bethlehem in Judah to the country of Moab due to a famine in the land of Judah. She lived in the country of Moab for about ten years, during these years she lost her husband and both of her sons. She decides to come back to Bethlehem and upon her arrival the whole town gets stirred up. Some of the town women said “is this Naomi?” What is interesting is her response to these women. She said “don’t call me Naomi (Naomi means pleasant) call me Mara (Mara means bitter). She goes on to say “…the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me, I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty”. We can see that Naomi was bitter because of the outcome of her life and she goes on to say it was the Lord’s doing. The story doesn’t tell us why things worked out the way they did, but she sees the whole outcome as the result of the Lord’s doing. She took a look at her predicament and could not see how things could get any better. Is this how things are going to be permanently? I can’t see how this whole situation could get better. I cannot help but think could this feeling of helplessness have caused her to become bitter? As we read her story, can you identify with what she went through? It seems like all of us at one point or another can identify with how she felt. There are few things we need to keep in mind. Many times we think our present situation is permanent because we take our situation and project it into the future. Then if we rationally cannot see a way out we conclude that this situation is permanent. What is missing in this picture is God. God works in the fullness of time, in due time he could completely turn the situation around to our utter amazement. He has never asked us to figure out how he is going to do it, we simply need to trust him that he knows and sees where we are and in fullness of time he will intervene. In Naomi’s life unpleasant events were part of God’s plan for her life. In the same way we will go through experiences that are not pleasant. Those experiences could make us bitter, because we feel like why those things happened. This is not fair. Instead of resisting and thinking these things are not fair, we need to accept these events. God knew they were going to come and if he allowed them, he is accomplishing something in our lives. We need to trust God and move forward. Many times in the future we will be able to see the whys. Finally we need to know that ultimately no person or situation has the final say over our lives except God. People and situations can harm us, but God has the final say and he could turn those situations for our good.

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