My friend, may I ask you a question? Without hope that the bitter will be replaced by the sweet, would life be intolerable for a Christian? Would we be numbed into a mindless and hopeless situation, entangled in the bitterness of our daily lives?”
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m M. Clifford Brunner?
Arugula is a name I may of heard of once or twice, but never really had an appreciation for what it was–over the past week that has all changed. Arugula is a type of lettuce with an odd shape and an odd taste. The leaves of the plant are shaped somewhat like the leaves of an oak. Dark, like spinach, they really don’t look much like a lettuce at all. But, it is the taste of the plant that really separates it from other lettuces. The taste starts out nutty, on the bitter side. As your taste buds slowly acclimate themselves to the unusual flavor, a slow aftertaste begins to form on the tongue. The bitterness slowly subsides, replaced by a subtle, gentle sweetness. With each bite of a sandwich or fork of salad, the taste becomes bolder and more pleasing. Arugula, as they say, holds a promise with each bite; the promise that eventually it will be sweet if only you can stand the initial bitterness.
You and I taste life in a similar way. On the one hand life often tastes bitter; on the other, the hope of tomorrow is sweet.
Here’s a story: As Vice President, George Bush Sr. represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, she performed an act of great courage and hope: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There, in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband. (Gary Thomas, in Christianity Today, October 3, 1994, p. 26.)
Without this kind of hope, hope that the bitter will be replaced by the sweet, life would be intolerable for a Christian. Eventually we would be numbed into a mindless and hopeless situation, entangled in the bitterness of our daily lives, even satisfied that there is nothing beyond it. Thank God that life is like an arugula sandwich. Its bitterness tolerable because the finish is so sweet for those who know Jesus.
We pray. Heavenly Father. Without hope, will the bitter in our lives ever be replaced by the sweet? Lord, life would be intolerable for us if we did not have hope. Eventually Father, we would be numbed into a mindless and hopeless existance, entangled in the bitterness of our daily lives, even satisfied that there is nothing beyond it. Forgive us Father when we lose hope, feeling that there is really nothing to keep us going because we can’t see anything hopeful on the horizon of our lives. You are our hope Lord. Remind us by Your Spirit every day that our hope lies in You and not in the people and the things of this world. Thank You Lord that life’s bitterness becomes tolerable because at the finish it is so sweet; sweet because of the fact that we know Jesus, only Jesus. In Jesus name we pray. 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.