“A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.”Proverbs 27:7
What is one of the first comments you hear or say after a big Thanksgiving feast has been consumed?
“I’m stuffed, I can’t eat another bite!”
What about in the spiritual realm of your heart? Are you ever stuffed to the realm with all the things in life that have been piling up within you and you feel like you can’t take “another bite”? What happens when the invisible box within your heart is stuffed?
Many things can fill our hearts. Collateral damage, such as bitterness, sorrow, depression, anxiety, grief, anger, fear, or loneliness, from the storms in our lives take up a lot of space. Often, this fullness prevents us from recognizing God in the moment.
I’ve personally had quite a few moments when a wrecking ball came crashing in and I’ve said “will there ever be peace in my life”, or “God, I can’t take anymore”. What I failed to see in those moments of fullness is the “honey” God is offering me. The enemy wants me to focus on that wrecking ball and all the other ones that have crashed into my life and not let me see the sweetness of the bitter moments. Yep – sweet bitter moments, when God showed up and multiplied my blessings through my trials.
When I read Proverbs 27:7, I thought about those defining moments in my life when I hungered greatly for God and tasted all the sweet love as He fed me and rescued me from the grip of the enemy. Those moments when He broke the shackles off my feet and unbound the chains were the sweetest parts of my journey.
My divorce was finalized in May 2015. My ex-husband has filed two custody suits since the divorce. Each time I’ve felt the weight on my shoulders and many times I’ve told God I couldn’t take anymore. I just couldn’t go through the mental and physical stress and strain anymore. During the separation, the divorce and each lawsuit I have had a different season of growth. My separation and divorce was defining moments of depending on God to guide me and growing in my relationship with Him. The two custody suits to follow began journeys of trust and being vulnerable to discover areas of healing I had stuffed in my invisible box. If I had not persevered in my hunger and thirst for my faith through these tough, dredging moments, when it felt like a 1000 men were on my shoulders, I would not have experienced the transformation of my sorrow into joy. God showed up in a number of ways, through prayer, people and peaceful walks along the pond. This part of my journey continues. Now I am equipped in discovering the sweet taste of my relationship with God nestled in the bee-hive that surrounds me.
It’s hard to taste the honey when we don’t surrender the collateral damage filling our heart. Through the act of dumping the invisible box, we are saying “God I want to focus on the cross and not the storm, I want to taste your love through this storm”. Nurturing the growth in our journey requires an action of surrendering and accepting the sweetness of the bitter food in our lives. Who we are in our spiritual journey is shaped in those moments where we hunger and thirst for Him. The beauty of that hunger and thirst is that He reciprocates it. His longing for us is where the bitterness transforms into sweet nectar, honey for our journey.
I invite you to dig deep within and inventory your heart. Is the vessel in your heart full of collateral damage that needs to be dumped? Are you full and unable to taste the sweetness in the bitter moments in your life? Jesus is longing for you, especially in your trials. Will you hunger for Him or remain “stuffed”?