The Bitter Made Sweet
"And he (Moses) cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet" (Ex. 15:25).
Moses did not find a new spring, but drank afterwards of the same waters which at first they had found so bitter. So God does not need to alter the circumstances of our life, but to add to them His presence and all-sufficiency, and they become transformed blessings.
Joseph’s prison becomes a place of victory and service; Paul’s dungeon becomes a sanctuary of holy song; and Bunyan’s jail, a palace of vision whence he not only sees, but shows to all future pilgrims the celestial city and the land of Beulah.
Moses did not make this tree, or bring it from a great distance, but simply found it growing just beside the bitter waters.... Beside every spring of sorrow, there already stands the branch of healing, the tree of promise, the Word of Life, which will open fountains in the desert and make songs to break forth in the night. The Lord showed him the tree; so when the Lord opens our eyes, how the promises grow vivid and become living realities, streams of water, clear as crystal, fountains in the desert, and sources of everlasting consolation.
Paul sees one of these branches of promise, and lo, his thorn in the flesh becomes, instead of a messenger of Satan, a very angel of blessing. Jacob gets his hand upon the promise, and lo, the place of peril becomes the place of power, and the darkest hour of his life, the very turning point of victory and transformation.