I had a revelation. I know what my problem is. It has taken me 40+ years and now I know why I still deal with bitterness and resentment. I have been trying to figure where this came from and I think I found it captured in Chuck Swindoll’s book, David: A Man of Passion and Destiny. The current chapter I was reading today is about ‘riding out the storm’ when tough times come. We often reap what we sow. In Hosea, the prophet wrote, “They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7). Some times these whirlwinds come as a result of the consequences of my own sin (what I deserve) and other times, they are the backwash of someone else’s sin (what I don’t deserve) (p. 225). In this chapter, Swindoll gives us four guidelines to follow when we go through a storm. They are summarized here quickly as: praying with a contrite heart, facing the consequences realistically, claiming the truths of Scripture, and don’t give up and continue on. During one of the steps, Swindoll makes a statement that I read, reread and then realized…ah ha, this is it.
“When you face the consequences of the whirlwind, you must guard against bitterness. Due to the pain that comes your way, especially since you’ve already confessed your sins to Him and agonized over how wrong you were, you’ll have to guard against blaming God” (p. 232).
The blame game. And I am guilty of it. I have confessed, agonized (actually angry at myself for failing again) and then I take the anger out on God. I know He has BIG shoulders and can take it and I am sure it grieves Him to know I am bitter and resentful. BUT truly, the person that I am hurting the most is myself and those around me when I am angry. I wonder if I have really ‘faced the consequences realistically”?? It is really about facing them and then letting it go. I don’t need to rehash or beat myself up over the same issue over and over again. Learn from it and go on. This is part of Swindoll’s 4th step where he warns that we shouldn’t wallow in pity.
“It takes as much (often more) spiritual strength and purpose to recover and move on as it does to go through a crisis” (p. 235).
Wow, there it is again….another opportunity for me to be resentful and blame God while I wallow in self-pity. Once I have followed the guidelines mentioned above, I need to move on with the strength of Christ that He has given me. This reminds me of a verse in Philippians 3:13b-14, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. I need to learn from the whirlwinds, forget the pain, and press on.
I am so glad that I had a revelation today!