Happy Monday! I appreciate your comments, as I feel your need, along with mine, for encouraging words.
While I was out in my yard the other day enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, I saw this green, luxuriant plant in the middle of my yard. Upon close examination, I found it was a dandelion. I got a firm grip on it and pulled it up, root and all.
Let me tell you about dandelions (as if you don’t know). They bloom with a bright yellow flower that we would say is pretty, were it not a weed.
The writer of the book of Hebrews, in talking about the race we are each running, says in chapter 12 verse 15 to watch out lest even a root of bitterness springs up in your life—troubling you and many around you.
I thought of the story in the book of Ruth where Naomi was returning to Bethlehem after ten years in Moab. She had seen her husband and two sons die.
As she approached Bethlehem, the people asked, “Is this Naomi?” She replied, “Call me not Naomi (meaning pleasant) but call me Mara (bitter).”
The years had changed her countenance, but even more, bitterness had hardened her.
I’m sure most of you have a daily beauty routine—cleansers, lotions, potions, and anything that says, “reduces fine lines and wrinkles.”
Whether you use drug store products or very expensive “high-end” creams, nothing will soften the lines of bitterness on your face. Perhaps we should add to our routine a close inspection of even a tiny spot of a bitter spirit.
One of my living heroines is my sister-in-law, Earlyne Stephens. At age 94, she is still beautiful. Might it be Oil of Olay? Maybe. But I think it is probably the result of love of God and love for life and people. Though she has had hard knocks in her life, I don’t see a trace of a bitter heart. What an example to follow.
You’ve heard it said, “Bitterness is the only ingredient that eats its own container.”
When troubles come, and they will, we have to choose: “Be bitter…or better.”