Originally published Thursday, 20 August 2015.
Several years ago, I was at a jazz concert at Heinz Hall. It was an upscale event featuring songs from the work of Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong. During the concert, the woman who was performing brought attention to a cup of tea sitting next to her. She told us she had a sore throat and that her mix of hot tea with honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper helped to heal while allowing her to sing.
I’ve dealt with a fair amount of hurt recently and today as I was processing many different issues in my life, that memory came to mind. I thought about the honey – how it’s smooth and sweet, and how the cayenne pepper, although it helps long term, has a bit of a burn as it goes down. They don’t seem compatible, yet both work together for good.
And then I remembered in Judges chapter fourteen when Samson kills the young lion with his bare hands. He later returns to scoop honey out of its carcass.
Gross, I know!
However, here is what I’m thinking: Sometimes we have to endure the pain to scoop the honey. We must keep striving for completion in Christ, and sometimes that takes facing a scary lion or a great, big giant in order to bring about wholeness deep within ourselves.
When it comes to other people, in their eyes, we might not measure up. It’s possible we won’t hold the same beliefs, maybe our gifts won’t be good enough or appreciated. It’s likely we won’t ever be treated with the same kindness, affection , and respect with which we’ve treated them.
As long as we continue to bravely face the scary, loud, roaring lions, then honey awaits.
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities. (See Ephesians 6:12) It’s entirely too easy to confuse those, isn’t it?
God is good and He is faithful to meet every need. He is loving and patient, kind and giving and never gives up on us. I guess that means we shouldn’t give up on others. We can back away for a while and take time to process the pain, but we must allow that pain to work toward completion. And that means letting our difficulties aid us in becoming who Christ calls us to be.
It’s never fun.
It always hurts.
However, in the end, we taste the honey.
Don’t be afraid to wrestle that lion, friend.