Recently I was hiking in the mountains. Somehow a little stone got into my shoe. I knew it was there and quite aggravating, but I never stopped to take it out. The views were so breath taking, I got distracted. Can you believe it, the next day I felt that same stone which I had not taken the time to remove.
Isn’t that just like bitterness? It begins small. It is irritating and it affects what we are doing. If not dealt with, it begins to gnaw at our life. Each step I took, I knew the stone was there. When bitterness is harbored in our lives, it stays with us throughout the day. It controls our thought life, marriage, home life, our day to day relationships and our work suffers.
The Apostle Paul saw this in the life of fellow believers. He understood that bitterness takes hold of our minds and controls our existence. He wrote,
”For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:23)
This is not a new concept. King Solomon knew from his God-given wisdom that bitterness zaps us of joy. Because of this, we can’t enjoy day to day life.
“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10)
Life is not an easy hike in the forest. We hit bumps and stumps with level and uneven places. No argument from me. However, we also have some wonderful breath-taking moments when we can see though despite all the unevenness of our life, there is time for reprieve and healing. When we can sit back, empty the stone in our shoe, and begin again, our heart will heal, the bitterness will subside and we can move ahead. Bitterness can easily creep back in so we have to continually be aware of that ‘stone in our shoe’. Throw it out….ask God to help walk without this stone of bitterness.
”Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Is there a stone in your shoe? What is hurting your soul right now? Ask God to release you from it. Begin to enjoy life and all its breath-taking moments again and let the stone dribble out. Start to see the quiet things in your life that are important…a touch of a pet, an encouraging word from a co-worker, or maybe a walk in a park to see the handiwork of God. Flip your shoe over and release the bitterness out. Slowly begin to see the joy in life.
- Write out 3 positive words or phrases to help you face today.
- Figuratively, take your shoe off and dump out that stone that is controlling your life. On goes the shoe and on goes your day.
- Realize the victory you have when you can take control and release bitterness.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
I wrote this for ‘Power to Change’, https://powertochange.com/blogposts/2011/08/21/a-stone-in-my-shoe/. Why not stop by and check out their resources and helps.