By Not Known

My son loves eating bitter gourd. He simply loves its bitterness. For many people, bitterness is an acquired taste. The Chinese have a traditional saying that associates the medicinal benefits of herbs to bitterness. Most durian lovers would prize a bitter-sweet fruit over a merely sweet one. In a sense, bitterness is a unique taste that brings out the complementary qualities of other flavours in foods. But can we say the same about “bitterness” in life?

There are many circumstances that might cause bitterness in life – a broken relationship laden with unforgiveness; having been unjustly treated or callously rejected. Some people literally grow up and grow old with unresolved bitterness. It is like hugging a durian, not willing to let it go. Are you one such person? Do you long for deliverance from your bitterness?

In Exodus 1, the Israelites groaned before God because the Egyptians had made their lives bitter with hard labour (v14). When Pharaoh meted out his murderous edict, God intervened through the Hebrew midwives who feared him (v17). God was there for his people when external circumstances embittered their lives!

Many years earlier, God had encouraged Abraham not to be afraid because He was his shield (Gen 15:1). God went on to forewarn that his descendants would be enslaved and mistreated in Egypt before coming out with great possessions (vv13-14). This shows that God had always been with his people. He knew their future ups and downs. His presence and foreknowledge did not shield them from those bitter life circumstances. All that he promised was that he would be with them to give them a hope and a future.

Are you living with some bitterness today? Are you growing numb to the pain, knowing that its sensation will return to haunt you when the memory is triggered again? Let us never allow life’s bitterness to consume us. God is with us. Groan, if we must, but groan to Him who has given us a hope and a future in Jesus. Determine to stop hugging your “durian” and surrender it to his nail-pierced hands. He is far more able to carry it for us and to see us through. Entrust yourself to Jesus today.

Benson Goh