Just a Spoonful of Jelly…

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV).

This is for my Mamaw Day.  Praying you are up and around and feeling better soon.

Pills.  When I was a kid, I hated them.  When I was sick, I was all for the “bubble gum medicine” – that thick, pink liquid that looked like Pepto-Bismol but tasted like Bazooka Joe gum.  But pills… no thanks.  If one of them got caught in my esophagus or, worse yet, went down the wrong pipe and dropped straight into a lung… I shuddered to think of the medical consequences that could befall me at such a young age. 

Pills!  How could my doctor be so irresponsible?  The cure was certainly more dangerous than the disease!  Never mind that our cousin and I had seen my little brother swallow a marble without the least bit of gagging (even when our mom lifted him up by his feet and shook him – although his face was a little red from all the upside-down bobbing).  In fact, he passed the marble the next day without incident.  (Ask Mom.  She’s the one who had the unpleasant task of insuring the little glass orb successfully completed it’s digestive voyage.  Ah, the joys of parenting…)

(Mom, if you’re reading this… he acted of his own volition and was goaded in no way at all into performing such a dangerous act.  We were in no way accomplices in the whole episode.  In fact, we begged him not to do it!)

(Matt, my dear brother, if you are reading this… sorry to throw you under the bus like that.  I love you.  It’s all in fun!  And I didn’t even mention Mamaw’s candy dish, which I will now take my fair 10% share of the blame for breaking.  [Just kidding!])

If not for my grandmother, I might never have taken a pill in all my life.  My throat would perhaps, to this day, pucker up and seal off any foreign intruders at the merest mention of the word “aspirin.”  But, my Mamaw Day came up with the solution (and a simple one at that): jelly.

Grape jelly.

One spoonful of the delightful breakfast condiment with said pill tucked in its midst.  The jelly would act as a protective vehicle to fool my throat and carry the offending medicine safely and swiftly to my stomach.  It was a trick she had employed with her kids.  Now I got to be the grateful beneficiary of such wonderful grandmotherly wisdom.

There is something about gratitude that can make even the bitterest pill easier to swallow.  Gratitude – thankfulness – changes our perspective considerably.  We need to realize that we are who we are, where we are when we are, and our circumstances are what they are because of the Lord’s perfect will and plan for our lives.  When we see our lives are safely and securely in God’s hands and realize we have nothing – nothing – to fear or dread (after all, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” [Romans 8:28, ESV), then we can begin to live a life filled with gratitude for all God has done, is doing, and will do. 

True gratitude fixes our gaze off ourselves and onto our Creator and Savior.  It places Jesus squarely at the center of our lives.  Gratitude is the reflection of a heart that realizes, accepts and believes the forgiveness and peace offered by Christ.

And it makes even the worst, most painful, least pleasant events in (and aspects of) life far easier to take.

As an adult, I still immensely dislike taking pills.  But, knowing I am protected makes them far easier to swallow.  “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 107:1, ESV).

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