When the pill you’re trying to swallow won’t go down

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Winter has finally returned here on The Three. Outside my window, it’s snowing. Perhaps the angels are having a pillow fight, and the stuffing’s come loose up in Heaven.

In my cozy home office, one, small Christmas tree remains. Its lights are on, filling my heart with a quiet cheer.

Over the holiday break, The Cub contracted a cough. Not wanting him to hack up his liver in the hallway at school, I channeled my inner Florence Nightingale and found a pill. It was, admittedly, a very large pill.

He tried. Six ways from Sunday, that boy tried. He swallowed and glugged, but it would not go down. More water. Some milk. Eyes watering, tummy sloshing. He swallowed and missed until at last, I saw that he was going to toss his cookies in the next 2.5 seconds if I made him try again.Declaring defeat, he left for school.

Rats, and shoot fire.

I cut it in half, and when he came home yesterday, I said, “Let’s try this again.” Another failure with more glugging over the sink. Finally, in exasperation, I looked toward the heavens and uttered one, simple plea, “Lord, show him how to do this.” And with a ‘glook’ and one last slosh, it went down.

He looked at me with wide, surprised eyes. “It went down!” And looking toward the heavens once more, I said, “Thank You.”

Last night, he said to me, “Do you think He helped?”

Looking at my blue-eyed son, I said to him, “Was it working before we asked?”

Today, I’m thinking about all the things in life that are hard and odd shaped and just flat-out “won’t go down.” Standing over the sink, we’re trying and trying and sloshing and slooshing, and we just can’t make it go down. We can’t take it.

Often, the cure for our ills comes by ways we don’t like. Comes in packages we don’t want, and it comes in shapes we can’t recognize as being good. And so we struggle to take our medicine.

As I stood beside my son yesterday, I felt no great faith in that moment of glancing upward and asking. I felt mostly frustrated and a little desperate. And so I asked, and Jesus answered.

“If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains, and nothing will be impossible.” That’s what Jesus said. This encourages my heart today, for I’ve seen the proof once again.

If you, like The Cub, are trying to accept a hard thing, you need no great faith; only that the size of a grain, of a seed. You can do what I did and cast your eyes upward with a simple, “Lord, show me how to do this.” And He will.

“Do you think He will help?” That’s you.

“I know He will.” That’s me, and that’s The Cub.

You are not alone. He’s come to help. You are loved.

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