Every experience God gives us, every person that He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.
- Corrie Ten Boom

Monday, July 11, 2011

Better, Not Bitter?

"What doesn't make you bitter, makes you better." We all, I am sure, know bitter people and more than likely we have been bitter about something at some point in our lives. I am not, generally, a bitter person. I know that I don't deserve anything good in this world. So, when hard or painful things happen that I have no control over, they happen. Dwelling on them only makes it that much harder or painful. It is when I have more control over the situation, that makes things more difficult. That is when I am more likely to weep bitterly, like Peter after denying Jesus three times. (Luke 22: 54-62). Often, even in these times, while we must deal with the issue at hand we must do so relatively quickly (repent) and then move on with our lives. We often wish we could go back and change the way that we do things, what we said, or make a different decision; but we can't. What's in the past, is in the past, we need to learn from it what we can, and move on to a new day. This is easier said than done, I know.

To remind myself that I am a new creation, (2 Corinthians 5:17) I wear a butterfly necklace on a nearly daily basis. It is a symbol of my faith, that in my humble opinion, more closely represents my faith than a cross at this point in time. The cross was an instrument of torture and shame and one that Jesus took on for us, for me, and I am ever so grateful for this. However, in terms of a piece of jewelry, it is often meaningless because of it's overuse. A few years ago, when I was selling jewelry at Target, I had a guest come up to me and buy a cross necklace for a friend, who "was not religious, but this is pretty." But, it wasn't just that one time, it was all the time and so I determined to find a better symbol, not so much for others around me, but for me, as a reminder of who I am striving to be. So, now I wear a silver butterfly with a heart of gold in the center of it. Silver, because when not worn or taken care of, silver tarnishes, just as our relationships do when we don't take care of them. A butterfly, to symbolize the metamorphosis of a life lived for me, to one lived for Christ. And the heart of gold in the center, to represent the immense love and grace of God that keeps me centered and allows me to be of service to Him. Praise God for His mercies are new every morning!

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