Bitter or Better?

Bitter or Better?

We all have some very special days throughout each year that have personal significance in our life.

When that date rolls around each year, we may celebrate by going out for a delicious anniversary dinner or by feasting on a mouth-watering, absolutely scrumptious birthday cake!

Or perhaps it's a day filled with a touch of sadness, memories and reminiscing.

August 13th, July 10th, May 16th, August 18th, September 24th.

Those are some of the important dates in my life.

Our wedding anniversary. Our son's birthday. The day I trusted Christ as my personal Saviour. The day our granddaughter was born! The day my Mom went to Heaven to be with Jesus.

What are some of the significant dates in your life?

There's another event which occurs this month. I don't know the exact date, but it was either the first or second week of April.

It's not necessarily an event I care to remember, but it is definitely etched in my memory. It's the date when the symptoms of my chronic illness first began.

Just like I can remember the details of my wedding day or the day our son was born, I can also remember the exact details of that day, as well as the days and weeks which followed.

Of course Brian, my doctor and myself all thought it was just going to be a matter of a few tests and a couple minor procedures and I would be good as new. However, within a matter of minutes, it became quite obvious it was not going to be a simple fix, nor was it the "piece of cake" diagnosis which the doctor was leaning towards.

If the Lord would have opened the window on my future, and I would have seen myself fifteen years later still wandering around in this world of chronic illness, I'm really not sure what I would have said or done.

opening curtain photo
Photo by siwiaszczyk

Oh, I would have loved to respond as some super spiritual saint and said something like, "Well, Lord, as long as You're with me, then bring it on!"

There are some days I can boldly proclaim that statement. 

There are other days when it's barely heard above a whisper.

Then there are those days when that's the furthermost thing from my mind.

Five thousand four hundred and seventy-five!

5,475

That's fifteen years

broken down

into days!

That's how long

I've been dealing

with this

chronic illness!

WHOA!

But can I let you

in on a secret?

Photo by Lisa M Photography

Throughout every one

of those 5,475 days,

the Lord was nothing

but FAITHFUL to me.

He NEVER once

abandoned me.

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."
Psalm 73:23

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
Isaiah 41:13

He has,

and continues,

to ALWAYS

be with me.

  • Reminding me on a moment by moment basis just how much I truly need Him in my life.
  • Strengthening our marriage and causing Brian and myself to love, cherish and respect one another so much more with each day that passes!
  • Holding my hand through numerous MRIs, CT scans, spinal taps, detailed eye exams, blood draws, hospital stays. 
  • Speaking peace to my weary spirit when the lingering, ever-changing symptoms completely drain the life out of me.
  • Allowing me to meet people I never would have met (most of them not even in person!), but growing to greatly love and appreciate them!
  • Encouraging me from His Word when the nights are long and filled with pain and anxiety.
  • Being my confidante and best friend when all around is quiet and loneliness.
  • Filling me with joy as I have the privilege to sit on the couch or lay in my bed and worship Him just for Who He is!
  • Understanding when everything is just too complicated to explain to others.
  • Deepening my compassion for others who live with a chronic illness or are walking through any type of trial.
  • Drawing me so much closer in my relationship with Him.
  • Teaching me to give thanks for the simple things in life.
  • Showing me that my service for Him and for others does not need to be showcased, recognized or even seen by anyone else to make a difference. God sees and that's what matters!

WOW!!!

I didn't realize the Lord had accomplished so much in my life through this chronic illness! 

And when I say that the Lord accomplished all these things, that's exactly what I mean.

It's all Him!

I could NEVER accomplish these things in my life!

It's all His doing

and I give Him

all the praise!

If you are living with a chronic illness or walking through any kind of trial, may I encourage you to take some time, sit quietly before the Lord and ask Him to show you personally what He has accomplished in your life through the illness or through the trial?

I think you might be quite surprised, just like I was, at the results.

Always remember, it's our choice if we allow the circumstances of life to make us bitter or better.

I've had, and still do at times, have my days of being bitter. It's horrible. It drives a wedge between me and my Saviour. It causes strife between my husband and myself. I can't pray or read God's Word.

It adds up to a non-productive, self-absorbed, self-centered, anger-filled, TOTALLY miserable day.

I've found that choosing to become BETTER through life's trials, circumstances and burdens is a much BETTER choice, not just for myself, but for all those around me, as well!

Is it always easy to choose better over bitter?

NO!!

In fact, it's much easier to choose to become bitter than it is to become better.

It takes no work whatsoever to become angry and bitter at your circumstances or at other people, and to even blame God. It takes no discipline at all to get into a huge pity party because things aren't going your way.

Trust me I know!

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:31-32

"Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
Hebrews 12:15

Once you experience the results of being bitter, it makes the decision to be better a whole lot easier! And in doing so, you come to realize anew the absolute faithfulness of the Lord!

 


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May God Bless You,

Barb

8 Comments

  • Will

    April 4, 2017 at 11:41 am Reply

    Barb, another wonderful post full of great scripture . Thanks.
    It's also noce to know that I'm not the only one scheduling posts. 🙂
    Will

  • Barb

    April 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm Reply

    Hey Will, thanks for your words of encouragement!
    Yeah, I schedule them for every Wednesday. For some reason I thought this Wednesday was on the fourth not the fifth!! Oh well, I guess the Lord wanted it to be posted today. Evidently someone needed to read it today instead of tomorrow. How's that for putting a spiritual spin on my mistake??!! LOL!

  • Zebra4Jesus

    April 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm Reply

    I have noticed in life it doesn't pay to get bitter. God makes every day and situation better if we let Him. Fifteen years ago if I would've known my CFIDS would have me here today I would've been appalled. But I thank God for each miracle of each day. For giving me the peace only He can give! And for the timely reminders no matter which day they come:)

    • Barb

      April 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm Reply

      My dear friend, thank you so very much for sharing your very wise words of wisdom. It really does NOT do us good to become bitter. And praise Jesus for the peace which only He can provide.
      God Bless You my sweet friend

  • Linda

    April 5, 2017 at 5:47 am Reply

    Barb, dear friend, better rather than bitter is the way to go! Not always easy when things are hard. God has done amazing things in your life - and you are a blessing to many. Love the song - He is ever faithful, what an amazing truth. Lots of love and hugs across the distance. ❤️

    • Barb

      April 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Linda, once again your words of encouragement have been like a balm to my soul!
      I also received your email message and it was so wonderful to hear from you. Now I need to do my part and get busy with a reply! Hope to soon???!!!!
      I'm so very thankful as well that the Lord brought you into my life ♡♡♡
      Loads of hugs, love and appreciation

  • Linda+vdM

    May 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm Reply

    Hello Barb,
    Only getting round to reading this now, sorry.
    This was so encouraging and revealing. As you say, we don't have to do anything to become bitter. It takes sometimes a huge effort NOT to be bitter.
    I've had maybe two occasions of being bitter over the last 30 years, but they only lasted maybe a few seconds. Yes, really! LoL. I think when you're in love with the Lord, in awe of Him, and so grateful that the door to heaven has been opened for us, it's easy to live in a state of better, better, better.
    Thank you for sharing His Love.
    Love you my friend.
    Linda

    • Barb

      May 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm Reply

      My dear friend,
      Thank you so much for your encouraging and uplifting words.
      What an amazing TRUTH which you shared ... "when you're in love with the Lord, in awe of Him, and so grateful that the door to Heaven has been opened for us, it's easy to live in a state of better, better, better."
      AMEN and AMEN!
      I love you my dear friend and sister ♡♡♡

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