This morning with my children, we discussed one of the bible accounts of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness. Remember the story when they were desperately thirsty, they found water and it was dreadfully bitter? Okay, so that is what we were discussing.
I reminded my second born that the meanings of her first and second names, when put together, are "He shall add bitterness". I told her that this story in the scriptures helps to explain why that is not a bad name-meaning for such a beautiful girl.
The year she was born came in the middle of some very difficult years for us. My husband and I had some very large and difficult life decisions to make primarily regarding his work. But his work change was actually just a symbol of the greater whole of what the Lord was doing in our lives. He was breaking us down so that He could build us up His way. They were years of tearing down old, false foundations so we could lay firm foundations on things that would last. They were years where I cried out from my heart with the psalmist:
"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away....but Thou, O Lord, How long?.... I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief." (Ps. 6)
And yet in the middle of those years, He was so overwhelmingly gracious to us, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually...abundantly meeting all of our needs and shaping us into vessels He could use.
This is what I wanted the children to notice in the Bible story for the morning: In the middle of their bitter time, the Lord granted sweet springs. He still works that miracle today. In the middle of our bitter times, He provides sweet springs of living water. So yes, He shall add bitterness, but along with it comes the sweet miracle of hope.
"For the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication, The Lord receives my prayer." (Ps. 6)