Gardens of Bitterness

by Calvin and Lisa Wulf

Why can't I get through to him? We're family but there's a wall between us. When I try to talk about it, the words just ricochet like bullets into my own heart." As he hangs up the phone, that old familiar pain stabs his heart. "Is there something wrong with me? I must not matter much to him."

Roots of bitterness grow in many family gardens. Our Lord commands us to reconcile ourselves to each other before approaching His altar. But that may require a slow, steady effort, not something we relish in today's "instant" society. A proverb says that it is better to be a patient than to be a warrior, and holding your temper is preferable to taking the city.

Yet sometimes, no matter how much we want resolution, others are simply unwilling. When our overtures of peace are rebuffed, the best choice may be to prayerfully release the situation to God. By shifting our focus to Him, we allow God to heal all bitterness and anger. Even if our relatives continue to harden their hearts, we can receive God's peace.

Being in the midst of family pain is never easy. Consider these suggestions: Try to reconcile your differences. Have you given it your best shot? If your loved one strikes back, send off a quick prayer of intercession. Examine your own heart. Have you asked God to clear your resentment? God wants to restore family harmony. Perhaps your "adversary" is hurting, too. With your prayers and God's help a hopeless situation could turn into one of blessing and peace. Be still and let the Lord advocate for you.

Lighten the Load is distributed by Joshua Faith Ministries.

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© 2000 Calvin R. Wulf and

Lisa Aré Wulf