In Exodus 15, after God destroys the Egyptian army, the Israelites are exuberant. But it only takes three days for them to start murmuring and doubting God. Verse 23 begins “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter…And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.”
When we come to a place of bitter waters in our life, unpleasant circumstances, we usually want God to deliver us as soon as possible. But these bitter waters can hold so much potential! God performed a miracle at Marah and turned the bitter waters to sweet water. He spoke to them. He proved them. I have seen in my own life that it is not the times when things are going great, but the times of bitter waters, when I grow the most. God has used bitter waters to reveal bitterness of heart, to reveal pride and unbelief. Each time I come to Him, weary of the bitter waters of life, He answers my prayers with sweet waters of peace, joy, strength, victory, and thereby a deeper trust in and love for Him.
And rest assured that, if you will not lose heart, and will continue to put your faith in Him, despite the bitter waters, He will one day bless you with a river of sweet water. “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures” (Psalm 36:7-8).
Do not despise the bitter waters of Marah! Instead, let God use them to speak to you, to humble you, to mature you. And expect miracles!