A splash of joy
On burning flames of bitterness
Douses the destructive fire,
Allowing the miracle of regeneration
Sometimes sparks of bitterness catch fire within our souls before we even have a chance to yell, “Fire!” Other times, we recognize it, but we just want to let it burn awhile.
What is that? Let it burn awhile?
That’s some destructive business, there.
Enough is enough. “Game on, bitterness.”
However, deciding to win a battle and actually doing it are two different things. Bitterness is a wily adversary- he loves to hijack justice and disguise himself as fairness, but he has an unmistakable odor of selfishness to him that distinguishes him from the real deal.
In my search for weapons to defeat this foe, I am finding that in addition to practicing intentional gratefulness, a bit of levity is one of our most powerful tools to battle this blaze. A little humor, especially concerning oneself, does wonders in containing a fire and dampening any fuel that may be lying about in my heart. The refusal to take myself quite so seriously somehow lights a backfire that keeps bitterness from burning up huge swaths of my time and attention. I’ve had to watch and emulate others who do this well, and then practice, practice, practice, because laughing when I’m ticked off or wounded doesn’t come naturally to me.
But practice, while it rarely makes perfect, does change one’s perspective. Perspective improves our vision, and I am seeing Jesus walk into that space that levity creates, offering forgiveness and gratefulness in return for my singed pride and stubborn selfishness.
He loves to forgive. He loves to restore…
Ezekiel 36:26 ” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
So in this exceptionally hot wildfire season of 2013, let’s douse any and all sparks of bitterness with some silliness, some lighthearted self-talk, and drench ourselves in the life-bringing, fire-fighting presence of God himself.
kpeterson july 21, 2016