Sweet Bitterness of Existence
Working with others can sometimes be a challenge, as I am sure most of you reading this have experienced. There will be personality conflicts, and some people, for some reason, will not get along; they clash like sweet vinegar and oil. At my job now, such a situation exists, and although I am not one of the inharmonious parties, I can feel the punches they throw at each other; the tension from their quarreling is affecting the entire office staff. For the sake of trying to keep the harmony in the office, and ensuring both continue to keep their jobs, I try to encourage the two of them to get along. But, true to human nature, with their opposite personalities, strong wills, and distaste for each other, the two of them continue to fight and complain.
Both, lovely and talented in their own ways, my heart has developed a favoritism for each of them, and I do enjoy working with them. Truly, I would hope that they can work this out, and I especially hope that only minor fragments of the battle are left when the war ends. Nevertheless, the pressure from the two of them in trying to manipulate the other office staff into taking their sides is challenging, and these selfish fleshly tactics give them a sort of bitter sweetness. The both good at their jobs, they are decent enough workers, but at the same time, their continuous bickering over trivial matters is just so annoying.
Okay, I will end my story now about the two ladies; I only shared it as an example of how good things can be sometimes overshadowed by unpleasantness. My quarreling colleagues, generally, pleasant hard workers, are now annoying and causing contentions that disturb the office. I find life is sometimes like that; there are the good and wonderful blessing of God occurring, but at the same time irritations, disappointments, and pains trying to take up space in my thoughts and body.
Where I am from a small citrus fruit is grown. Its juices are bitter, but its rind and pulp is sweet; as a kid, we called the tiny round fruit, which resembles an orange, a bittersweet. When eating them, I found that if I could get past the bitterness of the juices, I actually enjoyed the sweet softness of its rind and skin.
Like the bittersweet, so powerful in its sourness, situations in life sometimes seem so overwhelming we feel it is impossible to think of any good, but in reality, it is possible to focus on the good because we control our thoughts. And please understand, there is a sweetness somewhere, a blessing of God lurking amidst all the difficulties and in God, there is nothing unpleasant or bitter. The bible says His love is enduring and everlasting. Open our hearts and believe, and we too can see His blessing; His love can surround all of the bitter circumstances in our lives, dominating them, like the rind of the bittersweet.
Now back to my friends, I must admit sometimes I find it so difficult to not yell at them and scream “stop behaving like a child, and grow up,” releasing all of my frustrations out at them at once. Which when I think about it would only make the situation worse, because of another log, me, added to the flame would only intensify the fire.
So here is the moral of that story, so many times the bad overshadows the good. When this happens, it can create additional problems for us, and while attempting to make one problem go away sometimes a much bigger one develops. Similarly, when bitter situations dominate our thoughts, the blessings of God are easily missed and we miss opportunities, people or friendships, financial chances, and many other wonderful things God is trying to give us.
Often, when things occurring around me are taking away my peace, I have learned to pray and study God’s word. This gives peace within me, slowing down the rush of adrenaline or fear trying to take over when I focus my energies on the obstacle. Thoughts of the blessings of God rush through my mind creating a peace beyond any I can explain, and when this happens, I can meditate on the good and smile one more day. Patiently listen to my cursing co-workers, and wait for my own problem to clear themselves up.
Jn 14:27, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The bittersweet moments in life keep me awe-struck of God and His great love for me, and you, and truly my appreciation for His blessing grows, while, too, my faith in my own wisdom and strength falters. My belief that God is real, He loves me, and that He is there for me increases as I see the wonders He is working in my life. God is always there, I know sometimes it seems He is miles away, does not care, or even sleeping, but that is the lie of this world. His words say He is never away from us and in fact, will dwell within us, close to our spirits.
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
I can tell everyone today that in the moments when everything looks wrong, God is still there and if you allow your heart to drift away from the bitter things, you can see all the sweetness of God. Even if it is in the friendly smile of a stranger.
Sweet Bitterness of Existence