I love the beach. Sitting on the warm sand, listening to the waves crash and recede at the shoreline, smelling the briny air, feeling the sun against my skin… it’s all so therapeutic. But one part of the beach that I’m not very fond of are the barnacles encrusted on the rocks just below the surface of the water. Sometimes as I’m clambering about on the boulders that jut out of the waters, I’ll accidentally step on them, much to my annoyed surprise. They hurt! And sometimes, they cut my foot! And a fresh cut in the middle of salt water and sand is far from enjoyable. Barnacles are nasty little things!
Barnacles are small marine animals that permanently cement themselves to other ocean creatures and objects. You can find them on rocks, pieces of wood, the surfaces of other shells. They’re nearly impossible to remove. And they grow, and they reproduce. Yay. More annoying barnacles.
Isn’t that kind of a picture of bitterness? When you let bitterness into your life, when you let yourself feel entitled to harbor your hurts instead of handing them to Jesus, doesn’t it get hard to remove? And it only grows! Soon you’re not only bitter about the person or thing that hurt you; you’re bitter about everything else too. And just like those barnacles hurt people that step on them, bitterness hurts the people you love and drives them away. When bitterness encrusts our hearts, it thinks it’s there to stay, and claims possession of our lives.
Don’t let bitterness take over your heart and soul! I can speak from experience- it never helps and always hurts. Choose Jesus. Choose forgiveness.
Lord God, we come to you now with all our pain, all our hurt. We open our hand and offer them to You because we know You have the best way to take care of them. Forgive us for our bitter hearts. And help us, empower us to forgive other as You have forgiven us! We know we ought not be bitter about anything after You have divinely forgiven us everything! Help us to fight our temptation to hold grudges. In Jesus name, amen.
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
“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.”