“REED” This




Peacefully I’m lying asleep in bed, receiving good rest for my body, and suddenly I am thrown awake by a coughing fit. No cold, nothing caught in my throat, just coughing away because of a small tickle. There are very few things more annoying than having a small tickle in my throat that makes me cough. Seemingly, the fit ends and I lie back down. Right before I fall back asleep, the tickle returns and I am coughing again. Maybe I need a drink of water because my throat has gotten dry, so I get up and take one, but it doesn’t always help. I cough and hack and simply cannot get rid of that small tickling spot on one side of the back of my throat that I feel. What is it? I’ve tried to look in a mirror to see what it is, but I never find anything. This seems to happen a lot, and not only when I’m trying to sleep. Sometimes it happens when I’m singing and leading in worship. I have to stop, turn my mic off, cough, and then try to resume. It’s even more aggravating when the tickle comes during a service. At other times, my coughing can get rather loud, not only annoying me but also those around me. I can even feel it right now as I am writing this while drinking coffee to suppress the irritation. Yet, it remains, even with the occasional cough.


Little irritations can cause a lot of frustration. I’ve never been one who is happy when things don’t work as they should. My mother would remind me of when I was a child and how upset I would get when things weren’t just right with my toys. If the car track wouldn’t stay together correctly, I couldn’t keep playing with it. It irritated me so much that I’d simply put it all back up and try to play with something else. I’d like to say that my dealing with frustration has gotten better, but I know I still have room for improvement.


How are we supposed to deal with frustration? If things or people irritate us to the point of frustration, is that okay, or is it something that we shouldn’t allow to happen? I am reminded of the time in Exodus 32 when God was ready to destroy Israel after they had made a golden calf to be their god even after the Lord had brought them out of slavery in Egypt. His frustration was a righteous anger, of course, so maybe that type of frustration is acceptable. In whatever frustrations we may have, our actions and reactions should exemplify the fruit of the Spirit. Whenever frustration comes, we need to handle it by allowing the Holy Spirit to control our speech and our actions. Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” So, when we are irritated and that irritation continues until we become frustrated, we don’t want to lash out at others or let our anger get out of control. We need to remember what God’s Word says and submit ourselves under the control of the Holy Spirit. Then, the fruit of the Spirit will be revealed through us, and our actions will be in line with God’s will.


We all have to put up with a dry tickle in our throats from time to time. And we all have to put up with other things that irritate us. If we get to a point of frustration, may we all be quick to hear and listen to the Spirit speaking to us and let Him lead us in dealing with that frustration.


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, May 17, 2022