The Water, the River, and the Fire is an Opportunity to Choose
Between the Bitter or the Sweet
What started out bitter became sweet. The threat of death gave way to life. Cousins tell the story of their vacation in Hawaii – when they left their spouses in the motel and took an early morning swim. Somehow they got caught in a riptide. Before they knew it, they were being pushed out to sea. For hours, they struggled and fought the waves until their strength was gone. They thought they were going to die, so they gave up.
The current carried them away as they drifted along. The Riptide eventually tossed them aside and moved to other territories. It took a while before they realized they were drifting back to shore. In not fighting the waves, they survived. Soon, exhausted, they were back on the shore. It’s been years since their experience, but they have never forgotten.
When life throws us currents that threaten to overcome us, when storms and fires threaten to engulf us, it’s so easy to focus on the storm and the bitter instead of looking for the sweet. It’s so easy to fight the waves that are pounding our safe place instead of riding those waves.
When our kids or spouse are hurting and we just want to fix it, but we can’t, we need to look for the sweet. When the darts of the devil plummet us, we need to look for the sweet. When we’re facing financial ruin, fractured relationships, or fatiguing health, the sweet is there. We just have to comb the honey.
We can find the bitter every day of our lives without even searching.
Have you tasted any of this bitter?
- broken contracts and commitments
- strained relationships
- betrayal and false accusations
- loss of a job
- terminal diagnoses
- fractured families and friends
- financial upheavals
Instead of focusing on the bitter, we need to sink our teeth into the sweet. That’s the only way to truly taste the sweet. Scripture tells us that the Word of God is more desirable than gold and is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.
We can find the sweet in the promises of God. Some of these are found in Isaiah 43:1-3.
- He has called us by name; we are His.
- When we pass through the waters, He will be with us.
- When we pass through the rivers, they will not overflow.
- When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned.
ALL of this because He is the Lord, our God and our Savior.
When investments come up empty, when our dreams are shattered, and when hope seems gone, I can resist His call to find the sweet. When life doesn’t make sense and when prayers seem to go unanswered, I can choose to gnaw on the bitter or savor the sweet. When life is unfair and when grief is overwhelming, I get to make a conscious choice to focus on the sweet. Whether it’s the water or the river, or an all-consuming fire, I can choose to quit fighting the unfairness and the losses. I can choose, instead, to trust a God Who said He will be with me.
I can choose to taste the sweet.
How about you? How many times have you tasted the sting of the bitter?
How about claiming the sweet?
There are so many promises in the Word of God. Do we know those promises? Have we experienced them?
What scriptures can you claim today that will help you focus on the sweet? How firm is your foundation?
The song How Firm a Foundation is based on the scripture in Isaiah. To listen to Danny Ortego sing this song that is taken from this scripture, click here. To hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the same song in a different tune, you can listen here.