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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Turn your bitter into blessing

When my mother-in-law died last winter, our family was gifted a beautiful Peace Lily in her memory. It looked nice for a couple of months but eventually, regardless of my pampering, it quit flowering, the leaves turned yellow and began to fall off.

As I went to water it one day, I realized I no longer could see the dirt, just roots. The roots of the plant had taken up the confines of the small pot it was in. I repotted the lily in a large pot with rich, fertilized soil giving the roots space to expand and the plant freedom to grow and branch out in its fullness. I’m happy to say, it now has three beautiful white blooms.

I recently had the same experience in my soul. I was bitter. I had allowed that bitter root to consume me. And like the lily, I drooped, lost my vitality and failed to bloom. I was unable to see past my bitterness, therefore I remained, entangled in the roots of my small confines. It was stuffy and unpleasant there and I disliked “the pot” in which I dwelled.

And as is typical for me, I went to Jesus. Well, not at first. That, unfortunately, is the typical part – to take my troubles to him – secondly. I have the bad habit of trying to solve things on my own first. It’s not until I become pretty miserable that I finally remember that there is a much better way of dealing with things. It’s taking me and extra-long time to figure this out in my life. But alas, I did finally make my way to Jesus. I asked Him if He would take this bitter root in me and plant it in fertile soil so that something positive would grow from it.
He reminded me of this verse that popped up in my study of Hebrews lately: Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives. Hebrews 12:15. 

Now, back to the lily for a moment. Those bitter, overgrown roots were so choked out that the beautiful flowers were not able to bloom. The root system simply was not able to properly deliver to the plant all that it needed. I looked after it, fertilized it, gave it a little love and now it shines to its full potential. 

My bitterness was causing me to miss out on God’s blessings. I failed to see the good in the those that made me bitter. I failed to see what they had to offer, the gifts God had given them for his kingdom and his glory. I wasn’t blooming nor was I helping anyone else to do so. But just as I did for the lily, God, in his wisdom has “re-potted” me. He’s opened my eyes and convicted me to stay away from those things that cause bitterness to take root. I’m a little greedy, always wanting to find God’s best blessing. I’m also just as unselfish, in that I want to make sure other’s find that favor also. He’s given me the space to branch out and receive His fullness.

I’m always a work in progress. But it feels good to know that I don’t have to dwell in that small crowded pot where bitter roots take over. Instead, I choose to rest in the promise of Psalm 91:1 – He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, will be under the shadow of the Almighty. That, my friend, is the greatest place to be.