Friday, July 13, 2007

Bitterness into Sweetness

Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14

Bitter, undrinkable water. What a horrible thing to find after three thirsty days crossing the desert! It would almost be better to find nothing at all. The people of Israel seemed to think so. They complained, saying, “What shall we drink?” (Exodus 15:24).

This was not a prayer or a reasonable request. It was a whine. It was the same kind of whine we often make when we blame God for dry, bitter periods in our lives. Yet God was kind to the people of Israel. He showed Moses a log—a tree that would change the bitter water into sweet. Then people could drink as much as they wanted.

The tree was not magic. God’s power did the miracle. The tree was a sign that looked forward to the cross of Jesus, our Savior. Jesus alone takes away the bitterness of our lives and makes them livable, even sweet. His suffering, death, and resurrection make all the difference. He satisfies our thirsty hearts. We will still experience dry and bitter days. But even these times belong to Jesus. He sweetens them and gives us His water of eternal life.

Dear God, give me Your living water in Christ, and through Him, make all my bitterness sweet. Amen.
Portals of Prayer - A Daily Devotion from Concordia Publishing House
Devotional Reading for: 7/13/2007

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