As a young kid, my dad told me that the best medicine in the world tastes bitterest.
I was sick, and he was convincing me to take the medicine at hand.
I don’t know where he got that idea. Maybe from his old folks who, for the lack of modern medicine in the rural areas, settled for medicinal herbs and roots.
I remember our Lola (Nana) Toyak once gave us beeswax to chew on, telling us that this would cure us of asthmatic cough.
The beeswax she gave us was far from what you’d see in apiaries: golden white. Lola gave us a wrinkled black thing, the remnant of the wild honey harvested from the forest.
She also had a special ointment she called “Lana” (coconut oil) mixed with roots and herbs in a pocket-size whiskey bottle, which she applied on affected areas of our body. When my brother and I were coughing, we’d get a good massage on our upper backs and chest.
Whether or not there is scientific proof of this, I believe that the best way to get well is to take medicine being offered, which is usually bitter.
Have you tried enjoying the sugar-coated pill like candy and realised it would turn bitter as soon as the coating had melted?
Do you recall seeing kids’ pills looking like “M&M’s” chocolate and learning you’ve got only a short time “candying” because the bitter part comes next? 🙂
There’s no need to say “Yes” to this, but I guess you’ve tried licking those sugar coats on the pill to get the sweet part. I have done that. 😂
The above were my conversations with my roommate at the surgical ward. He had been very grumpy since arriving.
It was so intense that I pitied the nurse working with him one morning. So, I prayed for an opportunity to chat with him.
I had no other objective but to see him smile or laugh that day, which he did while we talked. Gaining confidence in our chat, I joked.
They call us “patients” for no other reason but to be patient. See that “Patient” title before our names (pointing at the board). “Oh, I didn’t realise that, ” he said, laughing.
The rest of the day went on without any grumpy issues. Praise the Lord!
As for me, I’ve been painfully sick in the last two weeks. I spent a few days in the hospital for care and treatment. I am feeling better now and have been discharged.
Saying goodbye to my roommate in the past few days, I told him I am praying for his healing and recovery. As I shook his hand, I told him, “Mate, don’t give up taking the bitter pill to get well.” 🙂
A big thanks for the excellent medical and nursing services that Timaru Hospital offers.
On the way to better health, there are many “bitter pills” to take that teach us how to be good stewards of our physical bodies.
Speaking of our spiritual bodies, the bitterest medicine that we supposedly deserved was taken by no other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Imagine suffering on the cross, you cry out, “I thirst”, but instead of an expected thirst quencher, your torturers offered you… “A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips” (John 19:29).
Hyssop is a bitter herb that gives many medicinal benefits.
Salvation and restoring a relationship with God is so important that King David, in his lament and repentance, appealed:
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;Psalm 51:7
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
In both physical and spiritual sense, my dad was right.
This time, I am not a kid anymore, and with all the lessons learned in life, I come with courage and submission to always take the “bitterest medicine” that heals best.
I am grateful that Jesus Christ made all the sacrifices so that I may live confidently on earth and in heaven.
Thank you for all your prayers.