Author: Linda L. Kruschke
I’ve seen prayer answered in miraculous ways. God constantly reaches beyond my expectation, even when there is no expectation at all. He answers and is faithful to provide what I need.
By now, I should assume an answer will be forthcoming. Yet His latest response to a prayer took me by surprise.
I confessed to my Bible study group that my focus on a few of my mother-in-law’s seemingly-insensitive comments over the years had clouded my perspective. I had allowed a tiny seed of bitterness to take root and had convinced myself that she didn’t really like me. I knew I would be spending time with her over the holidays and needed prayer to have a better mindset when we were together.
Several days later, I had the opportunity to share my beloved nativity collection with a friend. As I described each set, I heard myself telling the story of how my mother-in-law had given me a ceramic nativity she made when pregnant with my husband.
Then came the story of the myrtle-wood nativity that my mother-in-law’s mother brought back from Israel. As I mentioned she could have given it to one of my three sisters-in-law or a niece, but instead gave it to me, I realized how special she must consider me. God used these reminders of her love over the years to begin to uproot that bitter sprout Satan wanted to flourish. My attitude softened.
We ended up having great visits both at Thanksgiving and New Year’s weekend. In the morning on New Year’s Day, she asked me a question I didn’t expect. “You must have some good memories of your mom?”
“Not really,” I replied. With chapter three of my memoir front and center in my thoughts, I continued, “She had cancer the first time when I was only eight or nine, and then again a year later. She lost her sister and her mom a few years before that. She was always sick, it seemed, and I don’t remember her ever smiling or being happy.”
The subject changed and the morning continued, with showers, breakfast, and packing. Then we all went out to lunch before we had to hit the road for home.
As I usually do before we leave my in-laws’ house, I gave her a hug. “Thanks for coming,” she said. “I love you.”
I love you. With those three little words God completed His answer to my prayer. I don’t ever remember her saying those words to me before.
She has shown me in many ways over the last thirty-two years that she loves me. She’s actually been mom to me for more years than my real mom, who died when I was twenty-three. She has always treated me like a beloved daughter.
In that moment I also knew that my real mom loved me, too, even though it didn’t always seem like she did and she didn’t say it much.
It’s funny how God knows the things we need to hear to heal our doubting hearts. He reminded me to focus on the loving acts of others, and not on the careless things someone might have said. After all, we all are prone to let an thoughtless word slip from our lips once in a while.
Are you holding onto a careless remark and bearing a grudge against the one who said it? Have you allowed a seed of bitterness to sprout? Has a past hurt clouded your perspective of how much someone really loves you? Listen to this wisdom from Colossians 3:12-14:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Seeds of bitterness destroy relationships, or at least make them more difficult. Will you ask God for His three-word answer to uproot this noxious weed in your life today? It is my prayer that you will seek His power to forgive and His grace will fill your heart today.
Readers, If you need prayer to heal from bitterness, tell us in the comments and we will pray for you.