3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.'”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.” Genesis 32:3-8
If you recall, Jacob and Esau did not part ways amicably. Esau said he’d kill his brother, so Jacob had good reason to want to bribe his brother with gifts and to call a truce.
It had been 20 years since all of that took place. Was there still resentment and bitterness after all these years. You would hope not. Would Esau even remember what set him off in the first place? Most definitely.
Grudges and bitterness are avoidable if they are “nipped in the bud” early. That goes with anything and for any reason. But life throws some big curveballs our way on occasion. We get angry, frustrated, and feel hopeless about things outside of our control. We can harbor anger for days or weeks. But this does no one any good because the anger grows unless it’s dealt with somewhere along the way.
Over the next few days we’ll find out whether that initial anger Esau had has grown into something unmanageable.
Until then, know that the Lord wants us to deal with bitterness sooner rather than later. Bring it to Him, and then talk to someone about it. Get it out there before it consumes you.