My friend, may I ask you a question? When it comes to bitterness in our lives. But for a momentary thought this way or that, might we either become bitter over something or we become better?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
I’ve long been fascinated the “but for” and “except that” things that happen in this life. The other night, for example, I parked a car at the end of the driveway turnaround, pointed south. It got windy later in the evening and a large branch fell from a nearby maple tree that towers over the end of the driveway. “But for” the fact that I stopped my car at that exact spot, the branch would have come crashing down onto the hood of the car. But, since I stopped at that exact stop, it missed the car altogether.
It’s like that as well with bitterness in our lives. But for a momentary thought this way or that, we either become bitter over something or we become better. In fact, exchange the “i” in “bitter” with an “e” and what have you got? “Better!”
Here’s a story: Bruce Goodrich was being initiated into the cadet corps at Texas A & M. One night, he was forced to run until he dropped – but he never got up. Goodrich died before he even entered college. A short time after the tragedy, Bruce’s father wrote this letter to the school: “I would like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my family for the great outpouring of concern and sympathy from Texas A & M University and the college community over the loss of our son Bruce. We were deeply touched by the tribute paid to him in the battalion. We were particularly pleased to note that his Christian witness did not go unnoticed during his brief time on campus.” Mr. He went on: “I hope it will be some comfort to know that we harbor no ill will in the matter. We know our God makes no mistakes. Bruce had an appointment with his Lord and is now secure in his celestial home. When the question is asked, ‘Why did this happen?’ perhaps one answer will be, ‘So that many will consider where they will spend eternity.’” (Our Daily Bread, March 22, 1994.)
Goodrich had the opportunity to be bitter and unforgiving. The initiation was “in addition to” and not “a part of” being a student at A & M. There would have been cause. Yet, he chose “better” rather than “bitter.” As it’s only a matter of an “e” instead of an “i”, so it is with forgiveness. Goodrich, having himself been forgiven, imparted that same forgiveness to the school; one of those “but for’s” that could have gone either way–except for the love of Christ.
We pray. Heavenly Father, It’s so easy in life to become bitter when unexpectedly the tragic and deeply hurting things become a part of our lives. We ask “Why?” Often there is no other answer than You have willed it that way. Help us Lord to deal with the deeply hurting, often unexpected events in our lives with grace, mercy and forgiveness both for ourselves and others. Forgive us when we strike out in sadness and anger over what we had no control over, but so deeply affects our lives. Remind us Father that Your justice and Your judgment are perfect; always has been and that will not change for eternity. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.