Monday, November 14, 2011

Reflections From the Kitchen: A Mother's Devotional

Let It Sit

    I have been amazed at how many healthy foods and beverages God can make for us if we just let things sit.  I was very skeptical the first time I made sourdough bread (Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Lani!).  I just wanted to something, anything with it other than just letting it sit.  What an amazing thing when the next day, my family and I were enjoying a delicious loaf of nice warm bread.  Buttermilk, yogurt and kefir result from letting milk sit out, undisturbed. Sauerkraut results from cabbage being left unattended.  Most cheeses are ripened after periods of waiting.
     Have you ever noticed that God often calls us to wait on Him for a desired result in the same way?  What are some characteristics of preparing ingredients to become healthy, tasty foods when left alone?  How can God work in our hearts and lives in a similar way?

    1. The starting components must be prepared.  The milk must be heated to a certain temperature, cabbage and salt must be combined with water, potato must be mashed and added to sugar and flour.  God wants to prepare us for a work and he has a recipe for each one of us.  He works in us, often through trials, to combine a heaping spoonful of humility, a pinch of patience and cup of longsuffering to perfect his creation.  Moses, God’s great spokesman, had to be prepared for the important role of leading God’s people out of slavery.  God allowed him to go through a trial of becoming a wanted criminal, snubbed by his own people, as his recipe for producing a leader who would be wholly dependent on Him.

    2. The right ingredients must be maintained under specific conditions for some time.  Milk becoming yogurt must be kept warm.  Cabbage needs to be kept under pressure, allowing it to stay submerged in the salt water, to become sauerkraut.  God knows the exact conditions you need and for how long you need them in order to be prepared for His Kingdom work.  Sometimes, we may become restless in our spot.  We need to appropriate God’s grace to help us then.  It is so easy for me to become impatient with God’s work in me!  How often I have had to go back to the throne and find grace and mercy.  I thank God I am able to go to that throne as often as I need to go there.  Saul of Tarsus was kept blind for three days after his life-changing meeting with the risen Christ.  This was the first part of his preparation to do the Lord’s work.  He had to patiently endure being led around by others for that time.  God rewarded him greatly with a life of service for him from that time on.

    3. Some of these foods are best left undisturbed for a time to allow them to become the flavorful, health-filled products that we want to enjoy.  Jiggling around your forming yogurt, for example, can cause it not to set properly.  When God is preparing us for a work, he will need to separate us to him for a time.  While God may not call us to go on a mountain for forty days, he may ask us to give up some of our leisure pursuits, hobbies or other activities for some time and give more attention to our relationship with Him.  There are many biblical examples of this type of preparation including Moses, Paul and Jesus himself.  Follow the Lord’s leading if he seems to be leading in this direction.  It has been difficult for me to give up certain things, but I have found that God does give grace and I have been rewarded by getting to spend more time with Him.

    May we always remember to let God have his work in us as he prepares us to do those works he has ordained for us. (Ephesians 2:10)

     And if you have not already, try your hand at waiting for fermented foods.  They are fun to make, good for you and may even teach you a lesson or two!

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