I’ve been reading Sarah Hagerty’s Every Bitter Thing is Sweet. I was intrigued by the title, but can I say that it is true for me?
Her title stems from Proverbs 27:7 “One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.“
If I fill myself with all the things of the world to make me “content,” do I even appreciate what sweetness is around me? What if I’m too full to recognize it?
Or can I realize my needs and hunger in my soul and be thankful for every tiny, even bitter, thing that comes my way? Do I see how I can be thankful for everything?
No. I fail in this a lot.
So many of my physical needs are met that it can be hard to acknowledge the millions of ways God shows His goodness.
I do not think about how grateful I should be for the heater in my house as it’s 10 degrees outside as I type this. I’m “full” in that area. But if I stop and think for just a millisecond in my crazy span of a day, I can recognize the little things and be grateful. It re-centers my soul, which needs to be so often.
Yesterday was our first snowed in day at home this winter. I looked forward in anticipation to the forced slow down of our day. I expected it to be like last year, since it’s what I know already. Well, what I did not anticipate was how a very busy, needy 11 month old changes the landscape of a snow day. My idea of a slowed down pace was thrown out the window quickly as my day was just as, and at times, busier, than a “typical” day. Everyone needed something. Constantly. And all I wanted was an interrupted two minute bathroom break. (Truth.)
Getting the older two dressed in snow gear is a quick two second sentence to type, but in real time is a thirty minute agonizing, torturous event with a lot of sweat involved. My not-quite-a-toddler made the process a cry fest that left my ears ringing long after the older two had run gleefully outside.
However, toward the end of the snow gear ritual, Caroline exasperatedly said, “Mom, can we just pray??”
Oh Hallelujah, for the wisdom in this beautiful child.
She prayed for my stress level, for a fun time to be had by them and for Ethan’s nose to quit running. AMEN. As she prayed my entire perspective changed on the situation right away. My breathing slowed and I was even able to laugh at the situation, all while Ethan screamed for attention. (He was JUST fine when I was finally able to pick him up after the workout.)
I know that this “bitter” moment I recount pales in comparison to things you all, and myself, have been through…are going through…but it is important for me to remember that even the mundane “bitter things” can be sweet as well. If I don’t remember to be grateful in the small things of life, I’m not sure I can be grateful in the big things either. I’m considering this practice for the next bitter thing.
I’m challenging myself to look for the sweet in every situation. Yes, every bitter thing can be sweet, if we remember our soul is hungry for Jesus. He’s the only thing that provides real contentment.