Focus: Finding closure with bitterness
Psalm 31:22, 24 (NIV) You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help…Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
People don’t become bitter without having suffered deep emotional or physical pain. There is always pain deep down in the roots of bitterness, pain that came from rejection, insult, abuse, or loss.
What kind of images come to your mind when you think of your own suffering? In the process of rooting out bitterness, you have to continue to go deeper until you’ve finally reached the last bit of it. So go deeper than you have before. What is there that hasn’t come up yet? What else can you remember? What still needs to go?
Some things are so repressed that it might seem like just too much effort to go down that far at this point. Nobody is going to make you do it, but it might help, if you try. Some parts of you might be healed, if you would.
As a painful memory comes to mind, try to view whatever recollection you have of it through the eyes of mercy—no matter how brutal it may be. Let mercy come. Let it come to the memory and let it come to you as you remember something that is painful. Take your time and let mercy work.
There is healing when we allow mercy to flood situations of untold heartache. Try not to have the same feelings you normally have when you think of that memory this time. Try to let the merciful love of the Lord come into your heart and that situation, and let mercy flow like oil into the wound. Know mercy. Know healing. Know the Lord.
You may be able to keep going deeper and remember things that gave life to bitterness…or, maybe bitterness is there and you can’t recall why. Maybe you’ve tried to remember what it could be that caused bitterness to take root, but you have no conscious recollection. You just know that there was something ‘back there’ that could possibly be too painful to remember. That too, is mercy.
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You may wish you could remember, but try looking at it this way. Consider the fact that God may have put His hand over the memory of that pain to protect you from it. It’s possible that God created a hiding place within you where He allowed the deepest hurts to be placed so they wouldn’t be able to cause you more harm. Consider the fact that they were buried for a reason. Can you have peace with that? Can you rest with the fact that the things you can’t remember—that you know are there—were buried and hidden by your Healer?
In bringing closure to your bitterness, you have two things to do. Release the painful things you can remember, and have peace with the things you can’t.
Knowing you have hurts that the Lord allowed to be hidden should give you a feeling of comfort. It’s His way of not allowing you more torment. If not being able to recall all of the details of your painful past causes you anxiety, try to just lay it to rest. You may have a hard time doing that and imagine that something would always be missing if you can’t remember all of it. You might wonder how all of the pieces of your life will ever fit together if you can’t remember every detail.
Try thinking of your life as a puzzle. See all of the pieces laid out on a table. Everything is put together and there are missing pieces here and there. Now try imagining the blood of Jesus in those spots. It fills each hole and joins the pieces bordering it. It fills each place where there was pain and where something of you was lost. That’s what the blood of Jesus is able to do.
The best way to move on from here is to have peace with the blood of Jesus filling the gaps and wounds of your life. The blood of Jesus melts bitterness. There is no bitterness so hard that it can’t be melted with the blood of Jesus. So, let your bitterness melt. Let the blood of Jesus and sweet mercy flow through you and your wounds and let all of it just go. Let it go. All of it.
Cherish the fact that there is an antidote for your pain. Cherish the fact that your Savior cared enough about you to let His blood flow on your behalf, creating a precious antidote that could heal each and every pain you would ever suffer. Let it flow and let bitterness go…
Declaration: I will release the painful things I can remember and have peace with the things I can’t. I will allow the precious blood of Jesus to fill the missing pieces and make me whole. As the blood of Jesus melts all bitterness and mercy comes to all areas, I will be filled with new strength.
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