Has the story you tell yourself become more valuable than the breakthrough you used to seek? Have you grown so accustom to the pain of disappointment that the thought of it ever being different no longer even excites you?
Yip, me too. I hate to admit it, but dang it, me too. I’ve prayed so long over the same thing that I’m not even sure I have enough hope left in me to think it could ever be different. There have been glimpses of change, moments of progress, but they’re always quickly followed by more steps backwards than we ever took forwards.
How about you? Are you so hurt by all the steps backwards that you no longer even wish for steps forward? Has the pain of this disappointment become a familiar companion? You’ve made friends with the pain just so it wouldn’t break you, now you almost hold on to the pain because it’s your right to be hurt.
Am I talking to anybody? Is there anyone else out there that’s freaking tired of hoping this or that would change, praying only to see a momentary change replaced by a long standing regression, and you’re just over it. SO OVER IT! You’re so over it, you don’t even want to pray about it anymore. You’re so over it that you would reject the hint of breakthrough if you saw it.
That’s where I’m at. My prayers have become more like “Here God, I don’t even know what to say. You deal with it.” But, I don’t get my hopes up for anything.
You say you want this to change. You say you want what you’ve been waiting forever for. But through it all you’ve been disappointed so many times that you’ve made friends with this pain and identify with being hurt more than you identity with being healed.
You know what’s happened here Sis? We’ve lost hope. We used to genuinely hope it would change, but now we’re so tired of hoping, that we’re okay giving up that hope. Afterall, isn’t it easier to just not hope at all, than every day wake up and hope and be disappointed over and over again?
This crap ain’t easy, but guess what … you and I are capable of the hard stuff! It’s not easy to keep hope alive when accepting disappointment and clinging to pain would be more of a guarantee. But let me tell you what happens when you lose hope and cling to the pain of that perpetual disappointment … you become bitter.
Me and you, oh girl, we weren’t made to be bitter. We’re not designed with bitterness in mind. We have no good place to hold bitterness within. It doesn’t look good on us.
I always talk about the puke-green jumpsuit of misery that never looks good on anyone. Well bitterness is the exact wrong color of yellow that looks equally as bad. You put on the jumpsuit of bitterness and everyone will be running away from you! No one wants to sit at the table with the bitter woman. No one wants to hear the same old stories of bitterness we tell.
Even justified bitterness is still bitterness. And let me tell you, that is NOT God’s design for you. It doesn’t look good on you, and it certainly doesn’t feel good in you. Bitterness eats you up like rust on the inside. Infecting and destroying.
It’s time to lay that bitterness on the table and let it be butchered! You don’t want this! You don’t want to cling to this same old story. You don’t want to dwell in your disappointment and relive this pain. This really doesn’t look good on you.
Oh, do I have a scripture for us today! Check out what God gave me in Hebrews 12:15 “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.”
You know what this bitterness growing up in me has been doing? It’s been halting the flow of God’s grace. God’s grace is for each and every one of us, no matter how many times we’ve screwed up, and no matter how many people we’ve hurt along the way. Who am I to stop the flow of God’s grace? Who am I to step in with my continued disappointment and say today couldn’t be the day a change is made? That is the poisonous root of bitterness and it’s been growing.
Who does it trouble? Me. Who does it corrupt? Many. Read it again “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
So, what’s the solution here? I’m brought back to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Before I began to lose hope, I prayed every day believing today could be the day a change was made. Then the poisonous root of bitterness began growing, blocking the flow of grace. It has troubled me and potentially corrupted others. I’ve asked and it hasn’t been given. I’ve sought and found nothing but more hurt. I’ve knocked and let me tell you, that door hasn’t budged lately. It’s painful to knock on a door, knowing they hear, but still won’t answer.
So what the actual heck? Is that the way you feel? Yip, that’s how bitterness feels.
This morning I read that same scripture, Matthew 7:7 in the NLT and it has just a slight change of words, ““Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
“Keep on” would indicate maybe it doesn’t always happen after you ask the first time. Maybe you don’t find it the first 10 times you look. And maybe you have to keep knocking on the door for years before it is opened to you. But Jesus says “keep on.”
So to all the disappointed souls out there, feeling the pain of 1 step forward followed by 2 steps back … To all the ones who put on a good face like me, but honestly inside you’re losing hope and struggling to even imagine it changing … To all those completely justified in their bitterness, but still looking all kinds of bad in that wrong color of yellow jumpsuit you should have never put on … Today, we keep on asking, we keep on seeking and we keep on knocking. And as we do, our hope is renewed that today could be the day we see that change.
This is how we take off the jumpsuit of bitterness. This is how we deal with the pain of disappointment. This is how we get our hope back again. We bow humbly before the throne of the Almighty, and we ask AGAIN in the name of Jesus. And this time when we ask, we also ask that the poisonous root of bitterness be ripped up, butchered and burned!
Bitterness has no place in a life like ours. No place in a soul of the chosen. No place in the mind of the divinely directed.
May hope be restored as you keep on asking. May you truly believe one day you will find as you keep on seeking. And may you knock again with anticipation of God’s goodness on the other side.
And if the door doesn’t open today, I get to knock again tomorrow, minus the jumpsuit of bitterness.