It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees … May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
Well, it finally happened. The fall temperatures dipped low enough this week so that I could start drinking a cup of hot tea before bedtime!
So there I was one evening, sitting on my sofa and relaxing after a very full day. Then I took a premature sip of the piping hot herbal tea. And then I remembered what I had forgotten across the vast reaches of springtime and summer when iced water is my usual beverage of choice: hot liquids can very easily bring on hiccups. Very easily.
Now there are all sorts of home remedies and old wives' tales that people follow to cure themselves from these breathing interruptions: having someone suddenly scare you, drinking an entire glass of water quickly and without breathing, keeping a spoonful of sugar in your mouth for five minutes, eating peanut butter, etc.
For me, the glass of water method usually does the trick. But that particular evening, I just didn't want to get up from my cozy spot and go to the kitchen. I mean, I had the afghan wrapped around me just so, and my cat was perched on my lap—curled up cinnamon-roll-style and purring away—and I couldn't reach the remote to pause the movie I was watching. So …
What was I do? Well, I sat there and hiccuped for about an hour. That's right. I refused to make any changes because of the hiccup situation. Ridiculous! Really. I knew the simple solution to the problem, but I was too stubborn to get up and go there. I thought I could handle it on my own, and I did not want to get myself uncomfortable just to get some relief.
Life's hiccups can also be like that, can't they? There you are, feeling comfy, cozy—in your life, in your finances, in your relationship, in your job, in your church, in your small group, in your health—and then whammo! Disruption! Problem is, though, we can't swig some water or ingest some peanut butter to remedy the situations on our own.
The beauty of these spiritual trials is that they give us the opportunity to quit relying on self and call out to the Lord. To get off of "the sofa," to take a step of faith, to get uncomfortable and get on our knees while we submit ourselves and trust in him as he carries us through.
The point of seeking out this divine end all, cure all is not how swiftly the Lord will deliver us from whatever is causing disruption in our lives. It is in the blessing that comes from walking through dark times, when we seek out God and yield ourselves to him. If you are a child of God and have gone through anything that has shaken your faith, then you know this to be true. You either draw closer or you drift away. There is no in-between.
When David underwent times of persecution and isolation, God didn't instantly change his situation after David first cried out to him. Instead, he worked in David's life and comforted him throughout his suffering, as he drew this warrior-king closer to himself and to his Word (Psalms 18:1).
Thousands of years later, God is still the only remedy worth pursuing today. He is waiting, willing and able to be our rock, shield and stronghold—no matter what hiccups our lives may bring.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Not all hiccups are just minor, momentary inconveniences in our lives. Some are ongoing, long-term sources of intense pain, heartache and struggle. Whatever you are experiencing today, don't settle for a self-help cure. Get up and go to the Father to receive supernatural-strength comfort and peace.