Friday, July 24, 2009

"Bitter" but not "Bad"

And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor. Exodus 1:14

Jewish leaders would often say that a Jew in trouble should never describe his situation as “bad,” but rather as “bitter.” Medicine, too, is bitter tasting, but nevertheless serves a beneficial purpose. When the Jews left Egypt, they clearly perceived how the sufferings of their exile had been for their good. God had been with them through every bitter moment as He brought them through the purifying process that would result in their becoming “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” It was after the redemption that the Jews recognized the curative nature of the exile and they gave thanks for it as well.

I like this perspective on adversity and its hidden benefits. I think the Mormon pioneers and the Jews would have a lot to talk about.


  1. I like that. I think I'll use it.

  2. Also, like Naomi who renamed herself Mara (bitter) after the death of her husband and return to her homeland, she had much adversity but what blessings were bestowed to she and Ruth! It was through that affliction that something very great happened - the progenitors of Christ were united as one.