Today I remembered that a half of a grapefruit in my fridge needed to be eaten. It had been sitting in the refrigerator for a while because the other half was so bitter and sour that I kind of dreaded eating it. I haven’t had such a bitter, sour grapefruit in a long time.
I remembered that my mom used to poke holes in grapefruit with a fork and sprinkle sugar over the top. So, I decided I would do that so that the grapefruit, with its nutrients, would not be wasted.
I got out my little pickle fork, sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar over the half grapefruit, and pierced it multiple times, trying to get the sugar to mix in the juice. I let it sit for a few minutes and then ate it.
Interestingly, the bitter and the sweet did not combine. The bitter was still bitter and the sweet was still sweet. The bitter did not become sweet, and the sweet did not become bitter.
But the sweetness of the sugar made it possible and even more pleasant to eat the bitter grapefruit.
Isn’t life like that sometimes? We have bitter experiences in our life, and sweet things also are happening in our life.
The sweet does not become bitter and the bitter does not become sweet. But somehow, if we take time to appreciate the sweetness, it makes the bitter not “taste” so bad.
That reminds me that Jesus also experienced bitterness in His life on earth.
“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame.” Hebrews 12:2b
The foreknowledge of your salvation and mine was sweet as sugar to Him. It did not lessen the agony of the cross, but it gave Him joy and helped Him endure. The bitterness He bore paid for our forgiveness and for the sweetness of knowing Him. He knows that what is best for us is for us to know Him.
Today I’m thankful for sugar and for the sweetness that God sends our way to help us make it through the bitter times.
I’m also thankful that Jesus found sweetness in someday knowing you and me, which helped Him bear the bitterness of His substitutionary death for us.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NIV
What about you? Have you lived through a bitter experience in your life? Or are you living through such an experience now? What are some sweet experiences that also happen(ed) that help(ed) you get through? Does it help you to know that Jesus understands what you’re going through? Have you put your confidence in Him to forgive your sins?