From Bitter to Sweet

We're naturally repulsed by bitterness. But our God has proven that He's able to take the bitterest of circumstances and turn them into something sweet.

Give a young child a slice of yellow grapefruit to sink their teeth into and you’ll be entertained with an immediate and involuntary display of facial contortion unlike any other. Yellow grapefruit is bitter, and generally, we don’t like bitter.

Our language proves that. When we describe anything as bitter, we mean it’s not good. The bitter end, a bitter divorce, or a bitter pill to swallow are obviously undesirable scenarios. 

The thesaurus defines bitter as:

  • Pungent, sharp;
  • Hostile, nasty; and
  • Painful, distressing.

Is there anything bitter in your life today? Are you facing a situation that repulses you because it’s so painful, distressing, or nasty? 

Or maybe the bitterness is inside you. Maybe you’re struggling with feelings of anger, hurt, and resentment because of an injustice you’ve endured or some other painful experience.

These are natural human reactions to bitter situations. But as children of God, we have the blessing of hope in these circumstances. 

Look at what God did in Exodus 15:22-25 (NKJV):

“So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.”

Our God is able to transform what is bitter into something that’s sweet. 

We know Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). He transformed a potentially shameful situation into one that boosted the host’s reputation!

He took a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread and fed thousands (Matthew 14:13-21). Jesus turned a hungry crowd without food into a fully satisfied crowd with abundant leftovers!

God used a single jar of oil to fill many others to the brim (2 Kings 4:1-7). He took the last drops of a destitute widow’s resources to pay her debts and set her up for life!

The greatest example of God’s miracle-working power is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The dead and defeated Messiah became the living, victorious Savior of the world!

What is your “bitter water” today? What is your “Marah”?

Follow the example of Moses and cry out to the Lord. Ask Him to show you “a tree”—a way to make your Marah sweet and God-glorifying. He is able! Then praise Him for His miracle-working power as displayed throughout the Bible, and especially in our salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

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