One of the greatest challenges we face in this life, no matter what the circumstances inspiring it, is not letting bitterness take root. I have struggled with the bitter weed. I feel like bitterness is a terrible weed, that if unchecked, and left to take root it spreads in our souls like quack grass.
I don’t know about your experiences with quack grass, but my flower beds have had their fair share and when I try to pull them, I always miss some of the roots. I’ve tried different ways of getting rid of it, but it’s tenacious. Winter is coming, but as soon as the snow melts and things start to grow again, the weed will come back, as some of the roots run deep.
As hard as things were, and still are, with my ex, the one thing I wanted most was to protect my soul from the bitterness that could take root. I prayed and struggled with it. It was, and still is, a daily surrender to God. I had to talk to God often about how I was feeling and give it to him over and over. I had to ask God to forgive me when I was feeling resentful and bitter. I had to forgive my ex each time he said or did something that upset me.
As hard as it was, with the things my family faced, I could have felt like it was my right to be the victim. I could have felt justified in being bitter and angry, and no one really would have held that against me. However, I knew that for me bitterness and anger were like a weed that would spread and poison my soul. I feel like, with unchecked bitterness, I would have lost more of myself to my circumstances. I would have lost the part of me that I like.
The one thing I didn’t want either, was to pass on any bitterness or resentment to my children. I wanted to show them what grace and compassion look like, what forgiveness looks like and what it looks like to take the high road.
Ephesians 4:31 & 32 says, “ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)
This is so much easier said than done, yet, it is so worth the struggle to keep the heart weeded and free from the bitter weed. So, when I say that bitterness is like quack grass and when I pull the weed, sometimes I don’t always get the root; I say this because, I still struggle at times. There are times, when I thought I had pulled all of the weed and I was doing good. Then I realize, something grew again in me that I needed to weed once more. There are no quick and easy fixes for our hearts. We have to be vigilant and diligent to weed them when needed.
One of my favourite verses is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)
Don’t let bitterness, the bitter weed, grow you into something you don’t want to be. If you need to, do a bit of weeding, and by that I mean praying. Whatever you do, be the best you!