I slept three nights on the couch last week. Not because I was mad at my husband—but because I love him.
“Ugh, you just coughed in my face.” My husband shoved his nose into his pillow.
“Sorry,” I choked. “I’ll sleep in the living room.”
“No, honey,” he mumbled (or was that “go, finally”?)—but no matter, I was already on my feet and headed for the hall. Clearly the nasty cold I’d developed was going to keep me up all night. No need to keep him up, too.
A few days into this couch-hopping routine, I was desperate for a good night’s sleep. So I ransacked the kitchen cupboard and discovered a box of Mucinex left over from last winter—with four capsules still intact. Halleluiah! I popped a dose, climbed into bed, and slept eight solid hours cough-free.
Praise the Lord.
Crazy, isn’t it? For three nights I suffered those nasty coughing fits, not even thinking to check my own cabinets for the remedy that was there all along.
And once I found it, I got relief.
How very typical, eh?
What are your “coughing fits”? We parents suffer everyday symptoms—such as laundry and deadlines, poop accidents and permission slips. We run from carpool to Costco to the drive-thru and back, often fueled by our own depleting fumes. So we get tired and crabby. We grumble and snap. We lose focus. We lose moments. We lose our right minds.
If only we had a remedy, right? Something to suppress the impatience, the distractions, the itchy eyeball exhaustion. Mucinex for parenting, people, where IS it? I want it! Don’t you?!
How quickly we forget. It’s been there all along.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” (James 4:8, NLT).
When our lives get busy and burdened, what do we do? Push through and suffer? Or do we reach for Jesus, the only remedy that can soothe, strengthen, and repair? We need him, no doubt—every ordinary moment of the day. The toddler tantrums, the sticky floors, the teenage drama and that science project due tomorrow—Jesus wants to be part of it all.
He deserves to be part of it all.
We can live like we believe that. Or we can shove Jesus on a shelf, reserve him for emergencies only, eventually forget altogether that we put him there in the first place, and suffer—needlessly.
So what does it look like to swallow the remedy?
Pray over anything and everything, from broken toys to broken relationships.
Talk to God throughout the day like a constant companion while you mop the floor and wrestle kids into underwear.
Crack open your Bible and soak up the words.
Lift your eyes and see, really see the sunset, the pine trees, the unique artistry of each falling flake of snow. Point it out to your kids. Know at the forefront of your thoughts that God made it all.
He made you, he knows you, and he created you for this job—to raise these children, to love them like he does, and to teach them who he is and how much he wants a place in their hearts.
He wants a place in yours, too.
Will you give him that?
Then he’ll give you what only he can—true healing and rest for your soul.