Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15
It had been a great day, everything on my “to do” list had been accomplished, things were in order and the sun was out after a week of cloudy, cold weather. I sat content and patiently in the carpool line at preschool for my son ready to kiss him and give him my full attention as he told me about his day at school. Then he got in the car and it was like I had hit a bump in the smooth road I had been on all day. Detour!
My son started in immediately about how someone in his class had laughed at him, how terrible it was, he should have gotten in trouble, it hurt my feelings. . . . it went on and on. I tried to explain to my son that sometimes people laugh with us – not at us and in the situation he was describing I knew this was the case, but there was no convincing him. He dwelled on it all the way home, all afternoon, told his sister about it as soon as we picked her up from school and by the time my husband got home from work he was still in a knot about it. He just couldn’t let it go. No matter how I explained it, how much we discussed it and rationalized it he WOULD NOT forgive or let go.
My son had allowed that situation to ruin his day, my day, his sister’s day and our entire evening. I thought of all the times I had been in a situation like this. Times when I had allowed a circumstance, harsh word, misunderstanding or situation to ruin my entire day and the day of those around me. Why do we do this? Why can’t we see beyond the situation and realize that when we do that, we give the situation or person a power over us that we shouldn’t. They plant a seed of bitterness in us and then we water the seed, give it sunshine, fertilizer and allow it grow instead of recognizing it for the weed that it is and pulling it out of our hearts and minds so it can’t infiltrate our hearts and minds.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31
The truth is, the main reason we allow the person or event to have this power over us is because we don’t take it to God. We can’t do it without Him, but with Him WE CAN. He can give us the grace, strength, courage and power we need to forgive, dismiss and pull the weed of bitterness out before it has time to take root in our day, our relationships, or our lives. But, we have to ASK Him for help. He is there on the sidelines waiting for an invitation. Will you ask for His help? Will you knock so the door will be opened to you? Will you seek so that you may find?
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8