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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Dealing with bitterness.

OH. MY. GOSH! Who wrecked the coffee pot? There is nothing worse than bad coffee. Things that make coffee bad are:

1. Decaf (What's the point?)

2. Lukewarm (Must be 180 degrees minimum.)

3. Weak (Stronger is better.)

4. Flavored (In my opinion)

5. Anything added to it (In my opinion)

6. White vinegar (Never mixes well.)

7. Did I say Decaf?

So, yesterday, I went all "Mr. Clean" on our coffee brewer. The instructions are clear. Periodically, one must run distilled vinegar through the machine to eliminate mineral deposits and cleanse the internal workings. Roger that! I ran two carafes of white vinegar through and then at least a half dozen carafes of clear, cold, filtered water through to purge the vinegar. Check!

I have utilized this procedure many times in the last 10-15 years. It has always produced favorable results. The coffee comes out higher in temperature. Great! The coffee comes our with richer taste. Awesome! The coffee comes out with incredible aroma. Fantastic. Today was different...

This morning, I used the same coffee maker, the same ground coffee, the same water, and the same cups. Something was drastically different. the first savored sip of coffee tasted like someone had laced the coffee with strychnine. Funny, cuz I have never tasted this highly poisonous ingredient. You only get to taste that stuff once...

The coffee was bitter, foul, and just miserable to drink. What happened? The only variable that changed from the day before was my cleaning procedure. I am to blame. I messed up. I apologize for a bad start to the day. Phew! That was difficult to say but it needed to be said.

"When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the

place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then

Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water,

and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested

them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if

you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I

brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Then they came to Elim, where there were

twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water. (Exodus 15:23-27, NIV)

How do we deal with bitter things in our lives? Do we analyze the situation, determine failures, and correct procedures? Some days all of those things are necessary. What about days when we can't find a rhyme or reason to the bitterness? Then what?

The Israelites experienced bitter water and needed some help. They grumbled. Moses listened. Moses cried out. The Lord provided. The same things happen to us. We can grumble. The patient God listens. We can cry out. God provides us relief according to His will. Thirst quenching water and healing come from the Lord. Our best efforts to clean our lives usually ends in bitter failure. God's cleansing and restoration always produce the best results. Good coffee equals YUM! Relationship with God equals YES!

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