I have enjoyed “sweet and sour” chicken at a Chinese restaurant. But having said that, I am not sure I can explain it. But it does seem to be contradictory, more than complimentary as a name, and yet it is tasty to the palate.
So how do explain Bittersweet? The dictionary says “both bitter and sweet to the taste.” The other is “both pleasure mixed with pain.” I suppose both of those descriptions can be applied to my emotions today.
Yesterday was my last Sunday officially at Church Unleashed @ Beulah, or Beulah Baptist Church/Unleashed Ministries as it is now called. Eight and a half years now a chapter,but not a book, closed. I am thrilled at the “successes” we experienced together. I am even more thrilled about the new opportunities they and I both have. And yet I am changed by the challenges and trials we faced, and saddened by what feels like the end of one thing in order to begin the new.
Technically, however, “bittersweet” is not the right word. When it comes to matters of the heart, “Bitter” is never appropriate. Bitterness is a destructive root that gets into our emotions and like a cancer destroys everything else. Sweet, I don’t know about that one.
“JoyGrief” is an option, a real possibility. There is much to be joyful over, and also that to grieve. Grief comes over separation, over parting of time together. Joy comes with the victories won and the new opportunities ahead.
There is grief over mistakes made, opportunities lost, friendships strained. There is grief for sure. But there is joy over so many victories together. There is joy over friendships that last for eternity. There is joy that the last chapter is not written. There is joy in obeying God’s call.
So let me conclude this morning’s expressions with this: To God be the glory for all the things He has done and continues to do.