I have a tickly cough. The back of my throat gets irritated/tickled and it causes a cough reflex to try to get rid of the sensation. It’s irritating. It’s not debilitating. It’s not desperately uncomfortable. It won’t require a trip to the hospital or even the doctor. And I have some medicine to soothe and get rid of the minor infection, and also some lozenges* to help with the soothing. I am also trying to drink lots.
But it is a persistent tickly cough, it is an irritating tickly cough and it interrupts me when I am speaking, which is a significant part of what I do. (I mean the speaking, not persistent, irritating interrupting.)
What are the tickly coughs in your life? I don’t really mean physical ailments now. I mean those little things in your life that are persistent areas in which you struggle. I mean those irritating temptations you give into and instantly regret. I mean those things that interrupt your relationship with God?
How will you deal with them? I am sorry to say that there is no medicine and there are no lozenges* that can sort this out for you.
But the good news (as that Easter reminds us) is that God has remedies, and he has quite a range!
One is called ‘grace’: undeserved love lavished upon us from heaven.
Another is forgiveness that only needs to be received.
A third is his Spirit within us to nudge, encourage, remind, provoke and to speak words of caution.
A fourth is called ‘church’: people who will walk with us on our journey of life; people in whom we can confide because we know that they know what it’s like because we all have a persistent tickly cough or two; people who (with permission) can ask us the awkward questions and pray for us.
I pray that my tickly cough will go soon. I pray that yours will too.
Be blessed, be a blessing
*Isn’t ‘lozenge’ a great word to say out loud? Go on, say it with me now: “Lozenge”. Don’t you feel better for doing that? (Unless you are reading this on the train or in another public place and are getting some strange looks now. :-))