During this time of year, many thoughts come to mind. Particularly this year - the Charoset and Maror of Passover took on special meaning for me.
The Charoset is a sweet food made with apples, nuts, juice and honey eaten at the Passover Seder -representing the mortar that the Jewish people used as they labored in Egypt. The Maror is typically horseradish - a bitter food that can bring tears to the eyes - helping us to remember the bitterness of the sufferings of the Jewish people in Egypt.
The Passover Seder is a time to reflect on the redemption of G-d. We have a foreshadowing of the redemption we have in Messiah Yeshua. When Israel left Egypt - their destination was Canaan - the land flowing with milk and honey. They were free from Egypt - but the richness of their redemption was not yet actualized. There was a journey...
Similarly, we are called by G-d to rely on Him to be free from the bondage of sin. To accept Yeshua's sacrifice - to put the blood on the doorpost.
In this life there is much suffering. Even when we trust in G-d, we may suffer. The sweetness of these sufferings comes from the closeness that we have with G-d when life is bitter.
We are being redeemed.
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of HaShem, and if children, heirs also, heirs of HaShem and fellow heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of HaShem." Rom. 8:15-19
Yeshua has suffered with us... He is compassionate. He has not left us alone. Our Comforter walks with us. Strengthening us. Carrying us. This is sweet.
Hearts break with the fear of death, the shadow of sickness, the pangs of hunger, the grip of lost love. This is bitter.
So, this year when we ate the Charoset and Maror together - my mind wandered to the bitter sweet journey we all have in Yeshua... together the Bitter and the Sweet - it is bearable - even joyful. Isn't the sweet even more desirable when it's coupled with bitterness? Perhaps we would grow ungrateful... perhaps we would grumble in the wilderness - perhaps we do...
May we embrace G-d when life is bitter. May we cling to the sweetness of redemption as we labor. Keep our hearts from drifting to Egypt. May we be joyful that we have a blessed hope - the hope of eternal life - when redemption is completed. Our Messiah lives! We live! May we not lose heart and trust G-d even when we don't understand why it has to hurt so much.
You are my G-d and I am your daughter - come what may - bitter and sweet. I cling to you my G-d, my Redeemer...
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;" 2 Cor. 4:7