July 29, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. - Matthew 13:22.
In our Sunday morning services, a toddler choked on a piece of candy during the special music. Our music director is an EMT, but he was singing and didn't notice what was happening. I was watching him sing, and the first thing I saw was the grandmother pounding on the back of the little girl; and then jump up and run out of the sanctuary with her. Thankfully, she is okay, but it was a scary moment.
In Nevada, a couple's toddler (15 months old when the problem was resolved) had problems, persistent coughing, and respiratory infections over a four-month period. They made many trips to the doctor, but finally a physician's assistant, Cameron Byers, ordered a chest x-ray. The x-ray clearly showed a penny lodged in her throat, and it was successfully removed. Since then, the health problems have disappeared, and the couple has a happy little girl once again.
Choking is a terrible thing to experience physically. My sister once saved me from choking to death when I was about 10 years old by leaning me over and pounding on my back. But sadly, there are many people who are being choked spiritually. Their symptoms grow and grow, and at times may become debilitating. What are they choking on? A variety of things which can lead to not only spiritual, but also physical problems.
The world is a spiritual choker. The seed of God's word planted into a person can be decimated by the cares of this world. They are much like Peter while walking on the water; seeing the wind and the high waves, he begins to sink beneath the sea (Mathew 14:30). Sin can choke us and sink us. Worry and anxiety can choke us and sink us. Whatever is choking us, sinking us, the solution is the same as it was for Peter. When Peter cried out, “Lord save Me!” “Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him (Matthew 14:31a).”
Have you been choked and sunk, and are going under for the third time? The only real solution is Jesus Christ. Call out to Him. Ask Him to save you, ask Him to help you, and He will.