Two steep ditches I dig for myself

“If you don’t take your sorrows to God, they turn into bitterness. And if you don’t take your joys to God with thanksgiving and praise, they turn into idolatry.”

My brother learned this in one of his classes at Bible school.

But how one is supposed to balance on the narrow path between the ditches of bitterness and idolatry?

Late one night in the thick of my visa process, I was angry with life’s injustices. I curled up in my bed and started thanking God for His blessings. Thanking God seemed to be the spiritual thing to do.

But I didn’t feel thankful. I felt worried and scared and alone.

God saw through my flimsy façade. “Tell me about it,” He said.

“But, God, You have brought me so far already. I should be thanking You. I don’t want to be ungrateful!” Couldn’t He just accept my hollow thanks and be done with it?

Instead, He beckoned me to approach Him with my sorrow, no matter how frivolous or temporary it was. So I did. Would my silly little sorrow have turned to bitterness had I not given it to God?

See, I’m not sure that the path between these two ditches is so narrow after all. I don’t have to balance on a fine line between bitterness and idolatry. It’s not about balancing; it’s about surrendering.

God wants to be the One to hold our joys and our sorrows. The only two ditches are the ones I dig for myself when I don’t allow my Creator into my confidence and determine to face life alone.

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