Sad, but not Bitter

I've been waiting before the Lord. I've been wondering what is wrong, why it is so hard to lay this down. Is it unforgiveness, or just that trust has not yet been rebuilt? Or is it simply a big pile of disappointment? In this process, and as I posted earlier, I am struggling to love, or to know if I'm loving. My emotions don't feel much like "love", yet in my actions, I can choose to do good, and, well, is this not in itself love?

I've also wondered if it is grief, or a grief process, as an era comes to an end. This is the explanation that makes most sense at this point.

Last week I deliberately chose to not follow the through-the-year reading plan I'm on, and over and over encounter, dwell in, 1 Cor. 13, and 1 John--asking the Lord to speak to my soul and lead me in the way of love.

On one quiet afternoon, I ended the silent time listening to a few songs (mostly to silence and not be irritated by the conversations starting up downstairs), the conversation between my Lord and I became much deeper, much closer. 

And it was as if I heard Him say, "You can be sad, but not bitter."

Yes, this I know. I cannot let bitterness form and take root. I must not let my heart be hard. This I know, but hearing Him say it was deeply affirming.

I wonder how much longer I will cry. I wonder when I might see this set of circumstances with more clarity. I wonder when I will be certain that it really isn't lack of forgiveness, only sadness or disappointment in my heart. And I wonder when the sadness and disappointment will fade into history and lose their bite.

Until then, sad is okay, but not bitter. I will seek to discern the difference in the taste, and allow the one, but spit out the other.

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