The other day, my dear bride was flat on her back with a particularly malicious bug that brought with it a fever, congested sinuses and a dry cough. Flu; Cold? What did it matter really; I had to go into nursing mode and minister to her, doing whatever I could to relieve her symptoms.
I went to the medicine chest and there were pills for fever and muscle ache but absolutely nothing for a cough. Then I remembered my mother’s saying, “Chicken soup is good for whatever ails you.” So I whipped up a batch of home-made “amazing wife fixer-upper chicken soup” complete with chicken and lots of onions, carrots and other veggies, and offered it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guess what? It worked, within 24hrs she was much improved and continues to wend her way back to full power. Little did I know that there is actual science behind Mom’s remedy.
In a study published in 2000 in the scientific journal, CHEST, University of Nebraska Medical Center physician and researcher Stephen Rennard, M.D., found that chicken soup may ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. While the study offered some scientific support, apparently this remedy has been around for a long-long time – perhaps since Biblical times.
It occurred to me that Mom’s Maxim was something like you might read in the Book of Proverbs. “If your body rebels my son, try chicken soup – it’s good for what ails you.” The Book of Proverbs is an amazing collection of wisdom for living, much of its content is attributed to Solomon. To set the record straight, there are no references to chicken soup for a cold, but just about every other topic is covered.
It is a book well worth reading again and again. Chuck Swindoll certainly supports the value of this particular book, “Proverbs accomplishes something no other biblical book does: it simply compiles numerous short instructions for living an effective life on earth. While other books articulate profound theological truths, lengthy narratives of triumph and failure, or prophetic preaching to a disobedient people, Proverbs concerns itself completely with instructing people in the path of wisdom.”
While Proverbs certainly contains the largest single collection of wisdom and advice, you will find similar commentary throughout the Bible. I was surprised to find that James was probably a big fan of the book as there are plenty of parallels between his writing and the advice in Proverbs. Here is a pair; try to find some others.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)
“Proverbs contains some of the most applicable nuggets of truth in the whole Bible. Most of the proverbs are pithy statements brimming over with imagery from the real world. This approach allows us to see very clearly how any particular proverb might be applied to any number of everyday situations we encounter—from getting out of bed in the morning to building a strong foundation in our relationships with others. Proverbs reminds us that God concerns Himself not just with the big, cataclysmic events of life but even those mundane, “invisible” moments in our lives as well.”
I am happy to report that as a direct result of my Mom’s simple proverb, my lovely bride is on the mend. If that canhappen with chicken soup, imagine what might happen in our lives if we each were to study, then put into practice the collective wisdom of, not just the Book of Proverbs, but the entire Bible.
Read it, take it to heart and live it!