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Heart to Heart

    by Pat Chwialkowski

Root of Bitterness
Date Posted: April 13, 2011

Here is a paraphrase of a conversation that I had with God a few months back. It went something like this:

ME: Lord, life’s not fair.

GOD: silence

ME: Come on, God, don’t we deserve better?

GOD: silence

ME: Isn’t there a better way for You to teach us?

GOD: silence

ME: Can’t You say anything?

GOD: Get rid of that bitter root.

ME: Well, I didn’t expect that.

The seed of bitterness gets planted when one experiences hurt, trauma, pain, distress, disappointment, to name a few. If the experience never gets resolved the affliction gets planted in ones soul where a poisonous root begins to grow.

The Bible warns us what can happen when you allow a root of bitterness to go uncheck for a long period of time. From just one seed of bitterness, the damage can grow so deep and spread so wild that even though it is underground it will still try to dominate one’s life. This poisonous root works below the surface to drive ones manners toward anger, guilt, low self-esteem, co-dependencies, sexual compulsions, eating disorders and many other behaviors that indicate that a bitter root has taken place.

After I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that I had a bitter root I had to do some soul searching. First thing I had to do was identify what caused the seed of bitterness to be planted in my heart. It did not take long for me to bring to my mind past events that were so painful. A lot of the pain came from feeling so deserted by everyone, including God, during this crisis. As I reflected on the events and the trauma it brought to my life, I cried out to God, “What am I suppose to do with this…you see how much it still hurts?”

I did not get an answer that day, but what I did receive was the assurance that I was a child of God. I then thought back to the days when my own child would come to me when she felt sad, defeated and thought her world was coming apart. All I could do was hold her, love her and hope that my love for her would drown out any negativity that she was facing. I then decided to do the same with my situation and focus on all the good things God was giving me and stop dwelling on the bad.

Eventually I even chose to be thankful and appreciate the things that God had allowed me to go through. He entrusted me with these experiences and knew that I could handle it, or else He would not have allowed it. Somehow, thinking in those terms almost made me feel very special that He chose me to go through the whole ordeal.

I then asked God to yank out anything that looked close to a bitter root. He got His spiritual tools out and began digging. My garden might not be in full bloom yet, but I’m not worried─ I’ve got the best gardener around. For after all, He did create the world in just seven days.

See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up

to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

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