bittersweet

(Repost of an earlier blog dated January 18, 2010. 
This topic has been on my heart this week. 
I’m praying that it’s exactly what one of my blog 
world friend needs to hear.) 

adj) arousing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain

So much of my relationship with God can be 

this word.  He so often answers my prayers with 

an element 

of both bitter and sweet. For  example,

He answered my 

stay-at-home-mom prayer with 

the bitterness of moving 

from one state to another. 

My prayer for my OCAG girlies 

answered the same way: 

they are all serving God and 

following His calling (sweet);

yet, they are ALL doing it 

miles and hours away from 


me (bitter).

causes Him to “upset” us physically, emotionally, or even mentally.  The word

says He makes all things new.  Even if we want to stay in the old, He still

God never wants us to stay in the same place spiritually and so often that desire 
chooses to move us into the new.  He is a God of change not a God of monotony. 
The element of bittersweet so resounds in that philosophy – the sweet comes in
the moving, the change.  The bitter an integral part because we must leave the 
old behind to receive the new.  He asks, “Will you move forward?”  There’s 
excitement in what lies ahead:  a new adventure, a deeper blessing, a promised
truth in flesh and blood. Move is an action verb and requires that we leave one 
place and move to another.  That could mean leave an old job, old relationship,
old friend, old ministry… OR
Leave one life and move to another…   Never were two young adults happier 
than Keith and I.   If my father would have let go of my arm long enough, I
would have sprinted down the aisle to marry Keith. He did, in fact, stop and 
pull my arm back and told me to slow down as he escorted me down the aisle.
Keith and I laughed and smiled unabashedly during the ceremony and reception. 
To say that I was blissfully happy as we left the church that day and set out on
our honeymoon would have been an understatement.  The honeymoon week 
passed as if time didn’t exist; I had to remind myself on several occasions that
I was finally married to the guy I had been madly in love with for the past six 
years.  Ultimately, we returned to our very humble home, unpacked our things, 
and climbed into bed.  It was then, during those quiet moments, I realized the 
bitter:  I was no longer a child, could never run home to the safety of mom and 
dad; life would be forever DIFFERENT.  In the midst of the sweet-a true gift 
from God-I tasted the bitter and tears came unexpectedly.  My gift was tinged 
with sadness,  a letting go had taken place admist wedding cake, I do’s, and
honeymoon kisses, but I didn’t realize it until the honeymoon was over.
The Word is filled with those same moments:  Ruth followed Naomi in the
bitterness of their loss only to experience the sweetness of God’s perfect 
provision. Abraham held the bitter pill of sacrificing his son only to exchanged
it for the sweetness of Jehovah’s nick-of-time provision.  Esther chosen as 
queen only  to risk her life to save her people.  Mary delivery of a precious 
baby boy that ultimately brought him (and her) to the bitterness of the cross;
Jesus’s death provided the sweetness of eternal life.
In each case, God was calling for each of them to move forward, to leave 
the comfort of their lives just so he could show His perfect love and care 
for each of them.  He makes all things new.  He  calls and commands that 
we walk forward.  We have a choice, yes, but if we choose to stay in the 
old and its comfort, its sweetness will fade and we live with the bitter regret 
of disobedience.  However, on the other side of every move forward–a 
comfortable place sacrificed for a bitter unknown–He gives sweet back 100-fold. 
Lord, may I never only take the sweet from You, but may I have the courage 
to move forward into the bitter no matter how difficult it may be.  For You 
make all things New, and I promise to follow you FORWARD!

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