Today, I’d like to share a little poem by Helen Steiner Rice (who I love!)

“It Takes The Bitter And The Sweet To Make A Life Full And Complete”

Life is a mixture

of sunshine and rain,

Laughter and teardrops,

pleasure and pain —

Low tides and high tides,

mountains and plains.

But Always in All Ways

God’s guiding and leading

And He alonge knows

The things we’re most needing —

And when He sends sorrow

or some dreaded affliction,

Be assured that it comes

with God’s kind benediction —

And if we accept it

as a Gift Of His Love,

We’ll be showered with blessings

from Our Father Above.


It’s not fair

How often do we praise the Lord for the good things and whine when the bitter things come along?  Like children, we trot out the ‘it’s not fair’ card whenever things don’t go our way.  We whine; we throw tantrums; we indulge in pity parties; we try to ‘fix’ things; we do whatever we can to get away from the bitterness.

Why me?

Why not me?  Why do I think I should miss out on the bitter things in life?  While we’re here on the earth, there is hardship.  It is common to man. We all face it at one time in our lives.

What we’re doing

When we fuss and cry and say ‘why me?’, are we questiong God?  Don’t get me wrong, God can take questioning.  He’s a big God.  What happens though, is that we go from asking questions about the bitterness and start maligning God.  Why did God do this to me?  If You loved me, God, you wouldn’t have let this happen.  I refuse to believe in a God who could allow this to happen.

Character assasination

The above questions are all questions or statements I have heard people say.  And to be honest, I have two responses to people in pain.  I have utmost sympathy and empathy for those who are in pain.  I have had to swallow my own bitter pills, and I understand.  However, when it crosses the line and people start throwing dirt on God, my inner prophet rises up in rage.

What’s the point?

All of us have a mixture of bitter and sweet in our life.  Would we see taste the wonder of sweet if we had not tasted the bitter?  Would we appreciate the light had we never wallowed in the darkness?  Would we seek kindness if we had never faced unkindness?  Life is not sunshine and roses.  Sunshine burns and roses have thorns.

The complete life takes both

As Helen Steiner Rice points out in her poem, “God is always guiding and leading  And He alone knows the things we’re most needing –”   A lot of the bitter in life comes from sin (ours or someone else’s) but God is watching out for each thing.  He knows which dark threads will bring out the beauty of your soul.

Don’t judge

Many things that come into our lives seem like blessings or curses.  We judge them to be so.  However, sometimes those ‘blessings’ are not blessings at all and sometimes those ‘curses’ are not really curses.  We have to look at the tapestry of our lives from God’s veiwpoint.  He sees the beginning and the end.  We see the dark threads and knots of the underside.

It comes down to trust

It really all comes down to trust.  Do we trust God or do we not?  Do we think of Him like some big Santa in the sky who’s supposed to lavish us with whatever we want?  Many do.  But those who know God intimately and personally, know that He is trustworthy and faithful in all things.  He doesn’t leave us alone to taste the bitter; He comes alongside and helps us through it.  And just like the rainbow in the storm, He brings beauty into even the bitterest moments.

Have you ever questioned God’s character?

Do you have a personal experience wherein something bad led to something good or visa versa?

Do you have a story of how God helped you through a bitter time, bringing in pieces of sweetness even in the pain of the bitterness?

Have you ever let the bitter steal your sweet?

What do you think of the premise that it takes the bitter and the sweet to make a life full and complete?

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.”  –Oh_YeahReally  — Brian