Bitter or Better
by Jeff Osborne
It really comes down to only two choices, you can become bitter about what happens to you or you can become better. We tend to make it more complicated but in the end it comes down to determining how we will respond to tragedy when it enters our lives. If tragedy and trials were voluntary there would be very few takers. I'm not sure if I were given the chance to be picked for life's next crisis I would raise my hand high and say, "Oh, pick me, pick me!" Since we are only cast members and not the writer of the script, we do not get to choose what part it is we will play in the story of life.
I heard it said that life eventually breaks all people, the difference is some actually get stronger at the break. Here are a few examples of apparently bad situations that caused people to become better because of the trial:
- A broken relationship caused a man to adjust his priorities, pass on a job promotion and spend more time with his wife and children
- A laid-off employee found he had more talents and experiences than he gave himself credit. He started his own business and found a new world of opportunities once he was outside the company's gates for the final time.
- The abrupt end of a professional athlete's career caused him to start a non-profit ministry to reach out to hurting people on a full-time basis
- A diving accident caused a quadriplegic to be forced to write with her mouth. Her determination allowed her to grow up to become an author of multiple best-selling books helping countless thousands in the process.
- An athlete battling cancer found a cause much greater than his sport and began a foundation to help cancer victims fight cancer with strength and courage.
- Parents who lost their young daughter to Leukemia picked up their remaining children and moved across the country to get a fresh start at life. They chose to hold close to one another and not let the pain, confusion or anger destroy their marriage. In fact, they have now been married for 45 years and have a strong legacy consisting of four children, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I can't tell you what their fate would have been if this tragedy had not taken place, I can only tell you how much these two people love another today. They are my parents and I am a product of the strength and love that God has built through their pain.
Unfortunately, for every difficult situation that has spawned a story of victory and perseverance, there are hundreds of stories of defeat, depression and death of the soul. None of those with a victorious outcome asked for tragedy to visit their life. However, when it did come they chose to embrace the hope that brings strength to face one more day and search for a brighter tomorrow. They chose to be better not bitter.
If we choose to "treasure hunt" our experiences we will find God has a hidden treasure just beyond the surface of our pain and tragedy. It may not appear immediately, in fact, it may takes years to find the gift that lies beyond the storm. It may take a bit of digging but if you look you will find it.
Tragedy is here, difficulty is around every corner, uncertainty is a cloud looming above every sunrise. So I have a choice to make.
I choose better.
"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again."