My father’s mother starting dipping snuff as a five-year-old growing up in the hills of Kentucky. Papa likes to say, “People always said it’d kill her and they were right. When she was ninety-four years old, it finally caught up with her.”
Grandma’s little brown jar of snuff was multi-purpose. When we grandkids got stung by a bee or a wasp, Grandma would treat the spot with a good juicy amount of dip to pull out the sting. My reaction? No thanks. I preferred to run around hollering and hiding from Grandma long enough to nurse my own injury. Grandma, however, was adamant about finding wounded wee ones and prying my little fingers away from the sting to apply her highly customized balm.
I’ve often wished God would do that. Make me take my medicine.
I got stung the other day, only there was no bee or wasp involved. I was stung by a comment that managed to hurt me, offend me, and anger me simultaneously. The me that has experienced God’s healing love wanted to run to Him faster than quick so He could take the sting out. Another part of me wanted to nurse the injury privately. The painful observation wasn’t fair and the other person was wrong to make it, at least from where I stood. Submitting my will to God’s took longer than I care to admit, but once I took my self-defensive fingers off of the wound and presented it to our good good Father, He was faithful to apply His healing balm.
This isn’t the first time you and I have talked about yielding the obstinate little “i” to the great I Am. I don’t imagine it will be the last, but I’d like to close on a slightly different note today. You see, once God healed my wound, I was able to retaliate! Against the real foe, that is.
I set out to give the devil a black eye by encouraging as many people as I could, as quickly as I could. My words to them were from a sincere heart, but God and I knew the backstory behind the timing of my encouragement. Bottom line, I couldn’t have blessed another soul if I hadn’t let God take the sting out of mine. That’s a win, win, anyway you slice it.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. I Cor. 1:3-4