September 2, 2021

Bitterness and Complaining


Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

Exodus 15:22-27

2 Corinthians 13:1-4


As anyone with survival skills will tell you, one of the most important things to find when lost in the wilderness is drinkable water. You won’t last long without it! When God brought his people out of slavery in Egypt, their first and most immediate need was finding water, but all they found was bitter water they could not drink. So they complained, saying “What shall we drink?” But God showed Moses how to turn that bitter water sweet by throwing in a piece of wood. 

Sometimes we come across bitter circumstances in our lives. We grumble and complain, at a loss for what to do. What if instead of complaining about our bitter circumstances, we prayed and trusted God to turn them sweet in a surprising way? After all, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). 


  • What’s bitter in your life right now? Do you trust that God will find a way to make it sweeter for you and those around you?


  • How can I be like the wood in the story? How can I help make something bitter sweeter for someone else?


Holy Lord, you are a God of miracles. Forgive us when we grumble and complain about our circumstances. Remind us of your power to turn all things good. Remind us that you have defeated death, and that nothing separates us from you. Amen.