Old and Bitter?

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭RSV‬‬

As a personal chef to my family (clears throat), I have found myself overtime experimenting with various dishes and cuisines. It is never my desire to have unhappy faces after a meal is prepared BUT occasionally, I have encountered this in my home.

I recall one time in particular I was creating a salad with cucumbers. To my delight, my dad brought home three (3) large ones. With an invigorated appetite, I washed and sliced these cucumbers in equal sizes and added them to the other ingredients of my salad.

As I took the first bite of the combined ingredients, my palate let out a ghastly scream. Something in my salad was bitter.

I sorted through the different ingredients and discovered the culprit – those deceptive cucumbers. As I sifted through the entire salad, I found that all three were bitter. To say I was sorely disappointed would have been an understatement.

I asked my dad what would cause cucumbers to be bitter and his response was, “they’re old.”

Interesting.

Last week, I went to the farmer’s market and picked up a huge bundle of Bok choy. I saw myself cutting them up and steaming them in my wok as a nice side dish for a Father’s Day breakfast. They would be served with fried dumplings and plantains. Mhm mhm good. 😋

I steamed the Bok choy and took a taste of what looked like yummy goodness.

Bitter!

“Daddddddyyy!! Why is the Bok choy bitter?” I yelled from the kitchen.

His response, “it’s probably old.”

Argh! Another vegetable that is old…and bitter.

As I sat with these two scenarios Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)

He showed me examples of two Christian elderly women that I am very familiar with. Both women are in their late seventies and have professed to have been walking with Christ for almost all their life yet they are so different – as night and day.

Lady A is gracious and graceful. She tends to veer on the side of optimism, listens well, loves the Word, is extremely generous with her time and talents and keeps no records of wrongs. Her posture generally leans to trusting in the Lord’s timing and Sovereignty. Lady B on the contrary is graceful sadly, mostly in her dressing. She is able to recall a wrong done to her from youth, is extremely pessimistic, is selfish with her resources (and questions others who do so), blames the devil for everything, lacks joy, and overall, has an attitude that is riddled with bitterness. Lady B does have an extensive knowledge of the Word and its history, can be found praying out loud several times a day and is always willing to remind others that there is a heaven or a hell.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James‬ ‭1:22-24‬ ‭RSV‬‬

As I pondered these two women, Holy Spirit convicted me – big time.

Though I am not an elderly woman, per se, I am an older person of the faith having been introduced to Jesus at a young age. I have been in His school almost all my life and am able to share life experiences and lessons with many much younger (and even older than I am).

As I have been getting older (both age wise and in the faith), what or better yet, Who am I reflecting? Am I mostly like Lady B or am I striving to be like Jesus.

Like the meals I prepare for my family, I want those who partake of my offerings to find them enjoyable. No, I will not be always happy but they should see joy. Sure, I will be frustrated at times but will I be known as the grouch, or as one who zaps energy from everyone she comes in contact with.

“But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do!” James 1:25‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Pray with me: Lord, today I want my life to be more seasoned with Your grace. I want to be palatable to those I come in contact with on a daily basis. As I grow in the knowledge of my Lord, I want my actions to reflect that He lives on the inside of me. I want to fulfill the command of my Master to be like the salt of the earth that does not lose its saltiness. Help me to not just be a hearer of the Word, but a doer also. May I be like Jesus, in all I do. Amen.

#thoughtfulthursdays

48 thoughts on “Old and Bitter?

  1. I love how you used your experience with the bitter vegetables to be a teachable moment for you. An open heart to learning and listening to the Spirit is a wonderful posture to have. May we be more aware of what we are offering to those around us- is it joy or does it leave a bitter experience.
    Thanks for sharing Dee 😊💙.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Aww, you’re very welcome, Manu.

      I want to always be in the place where Holy Spirit is teaching for Ive not arrived and I continue to press towards that mark 🤗

      Amen to your prayer too. Thank you for that, and for always being an encouragement to me ❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deandra !
    I love this post !
    It is so interesting that you compared the old vegetables with bitter old people.
    It has often been said that as we age, we become either bitter, or better.
    Sometimes people also say that as we age we become either sweet or sour.
    I know ladies like Lady B, and although they might quote scripture, etc., they rarely draw anyone to the Lord.

    I think that I am like Lady A.
    It is God’s grace that helps us to grow old happily, and gracefully.
    I believe that a kind heart helps to prevent wrinkles too.
    People like Lady B deserve our prayers. God, in his goodness, can repair bitter hearts. 😁

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sally, when I read your comment I smiled because as I wrote about Lady A yesterday, I thought about you 🤗

      Thank you for reminding me that I need to pray for Lady B and people like her. I confess I’ve been so distracted “avoiding” Lady B that I haven’t paused to really pray. Thank you for judging me in this direction, for certainly our God can repair, mend, fix and replace. 🙏🏽❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right!!! So rich are the thoughts of these women of God, David.

      Yes – I love this passage from James (and the entire book too).

      May we daily look into the mirror 😉

      Like

  3. Glory to God!! Thank you for this reminder. I was blessed by this reading. My dearest sister, I can relate in more ways than one. Occurrences cause us sometimes to operate like the devil would and not of the Supreme one. Which is was! This reminds me that I am to die daily and never forgetting that I sin not only in my deeds but also in thoughts. Have mercy on us all Father because we have all fallen short 🙏🏾 I love the humor in your reading it kept me wanting more. Bless your heart my dear

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hallelujah to our Father and teacher, beloved. I’m so thankful you were blessed by this reading.

      The Lord really has been convicting my heart lately on being Christ-like. It can be so easy to spot issues and shortcomings in others. It can be easy to label people as bitter thinking we are better but oh how deceived we can end up when we fail to see that in us, is no good thing if Jesus never had pre-eminence. May we certainly walk worthy of the call, show mercy, and live humbly before our Lord.

      Thanks for reading and interacting too, Kerry. I appreciate it. ABBA’s blessings to you always 🙏🏽

      Like

  4. Very good word Deandra.

    As I meditated on the meat of what God is revealing here through your words I pondered what makes us bitter too. Although I have not had the opportunity to grow vegetables for many years 😉 I still remember the veggie farm I grew up on. Many lessons were gleaned in those fields. One I did learn is that there are many reasons for bitterness. One is definitely age, too young or too old, but the other is what the plant fed on.

    Plants are amazing in that they can take in water and sunlight and turn it into vegetables and fruit. But what if the water they feed on has chemicals and minerals that affect the taste? That is one thing we learned growing our plants. Some would indeed be bitter because of what my father applied to them in herbicides and pesticides. Although we had an adequate water supply there was also alkali in the water and who knows what else. In the field we could tell the difference in fruit from plants in a low area as opposed to the higher areas. It all depended on the water.

    So my point is this; age will certainly affect our outlook but what we feed on, I find, is far more important. If we feed ourselves on the news propaganda, false teachings, name it and claim it bunk, immoral movies and television of course it will make us bitter. If we feed deeply and hungrily on the Bread of Life then we will become sweet and loving. It is our choice.

    Remember that demons feed off the negativity we give off so they encourage it, much like how ants ‘farm’ aphids for their sweet poo. 🙂 If demons can feed off negativity so can our ‘self’ nature. We must learn and actively work on NOT feeding on such things but to feed on the word and the Word! Feed our spirit with the Holy Spirit and we will find much more love coming to and through us. It reminds me of this cartoon https://www.dropbox.com/s/10qg7zohor62w8x/native%20spirit%20antispirit%20comic.pdf?dl=0 that perfectly outlines this issue.

    This is a good and true word Precious One. Thank you for posting. You are a dear and faithful sister!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Homer, I read this this morning and my heart was so moved. I called my mom immediately and told her to read your comment – even before the post.

      Two things: the paragraph where you shared about how demons feed off our negativity really hit home for me today. I have a relative who though a professed believer, feeds the demonic influence in her life. Whenever asked how she is doing, the enemy’s doing is always magnified. Until you captured this and Holy Spirit began bringing added revelations and confirmations to me, I would have missed that she was (the second thing) feeding these demons with her negativity. She is Lady B. Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through you where this is concerned. Whew!

      And for that comic – I love love love it! It is so true! What we feed will survive and even flourish, what we starve, will be malnourished and even die.

      Hallelujah!!

      Thank you once more for pouring out wisdom and truth today for me, and all who will read.

      Blessings to you and sweet Wanda (and the rest of family) always ❤️🤗🙏🏽

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome and timely post! I guess growing old is not optional, but we don’t have to get bitter. I am seeing so much bitterness these days, not just in old people. It’s a time we need positive things, and if that means we are accused of being naïve “Pollyanna’s,” so be it. It sure beats the alternative. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for sharing and for the prayer little sister. As we grow in the Lord may we also grow in love and be graceful even in old age. His love creates a gentle and cheerful spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Difficult times in life will result in us either becoming better or bitter. The choice is ours in how we respond. If we seek the Lord, have forgiveness in our heart, and focus on showing others the love of Jesus, we will become better.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amen. Such a graceful lesson. ❤
    We can choose to be Lady A or lady B. But whichever one we choose, as Christ-like people, we should choose His reflection.

    And I believe what we feed our hearts with too affects how we turn out. More reason why I am staying clear from toxic words and people. Our hearts need to be guarded so that we can have a life reflecting Christ all the time. 💯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Jacquie, thank you for continuing to pray and believe the Lord’s promises over my life 🤗. You are a remarkable vessel of honor. Blessings to you Ken always 🙏🏽

      Like

  9. Lovely post, Deandra. I enjoyed reading it. I noticed that most times out local cucumbers are bitter but I did not know that it was because they are old. I learned something new today. Also pok choy tend to be a little bitter but my sister taught me to fry garlic and ginger in the oil first then steam the pok choy in it.
    I pray that I will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, sis.
      Now you’ve taught me something today about trying the garlic and ginger. Lord – help me to remember.
      I join you in that prayer. May we never stop growing. Blessings to you always 🙏🏽

      Like

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