"Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant -
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever."
Psalm 73:21-26 (NLT)
Oh boy - do I know the pang of bitterness! The psalmist gets it right when he says he was "all torn up inside". That's exactly how it feels. You know what you're feeling is wrong, but the more you try to fight it, the worse the bitterness becomes. It gets so strong you can taste it. And the thoughts it leaves you thinking; the feelings it leaves you feeling... well... it's like you're being taken over by the bitterness monster of stench. And you can't just wash it off of yourself.
Yet, despite how bitter my heart was becoming, God still claimed me for his own. He still guided me, when I would let him, to what I'm trusting will be a glorious destiny. God never gave up on me during that time of bitterness. People did. People I never thought would leave my side left me standing with my mouth gaping open in shock. But, the Lord my God, never, ever left me. Oh - I left him for a time, but he was always there, waiting ever-so patiently for me to return to him.
People may fail me. My own mind and body may fail me. But, my God "remains the strength of my heart." He is mine forever. And no one can take him away from me. My Lord, My God - I do desire you more than anything on earth!