Crock Pot Faith
By Brenda W. McIntyre
I’m not much of a chef, although I have done some cooking. When I prepare meals on a regular basis I’m pretty good at it, but the task isn’t one I enjoy. I’m more of a fix-a-sandwich or throw-it-in-the-crock-pot kind of girl. Crock pot meals can be healthy and the convenience meets the demands of a busy schedule. When I place food in the ceramic pot, knowing in a few hours a mouth-watering meal will be served it reminds me of developing faith in God.
As stated in Hebrews 11:1, “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is trusting God and believing in His promises. Relationships are built on trust, so as we trust God more, our faith increases. Psalms 62:8 instructs us to trust in God at all times and pour our hearts out before him, for God is our refuge.
I have been a born again Christian for nineteen years, during which time my faith has sometimes wavered. It was during one of those low points that I put a roast in the crock pot one morning so it would be ready for supper. Then I left to face a grueling day. There were rumors of job cuts at work. With my bills piling up, I certainly didn’t want to become a statistic at the Labor Department. There were other difficulties going on at work as well, some of which stemmed from yet another dilemma – personal problems on the home front. Around mid-morning I received a call from school to tend to a sick child. I had to take my ailing daughter to the doctor. Thank God for health insurance, but I hadn’t yet met my deductible. One more worry; and always at the forefront of my thoughts was the bitter custody battle I was embroiled in. God was testing my faith.
Meanwhile, back at home, the roast beef was slowly cooking in the crock pot. The temperature was gradually increasing and the long, slow process would leave the meat tender and savory. I hadn’t thought about the appliance or its contents since shutting the door behind me at eight that morning. My thoughts were focused on why my life was becoming a struggle. I was feeling the heat and I didn’t understand why I had to endure such hardships. What was God trying to show me? What lesson was I supposed to be learning?
When we got home from the doctor’s office I tucked Haley into bed and added carrots and potatoes to the cooking contents, hoping we’d be able to have an early dinner. Then I headed to the pharmacy to pick up her prescription that would be ready by now. Late in the afternoon Haley’s fever broke and her appetite returned. Along with my son, we sat down to a delicious meal. The roast was so tender it seemed to melt in my mouth. The vegetables were neither too hard and undercooked, nor overcooked and mushy. They had been put into the pot at just the right time and turned out perfect. As my children and I consumed the delightfully tasty meal I began to understand why God was allowing all of the adversity in my life.
You see, the principles of physics won’t allow the temperature inside a crock pot to rise above the boiling point of liquid. Moisture is retained and heat is spread evenly, cooking food to perfection. Ingredients added at the right time enhance the meal. Adding vegetables too soon would cause them to turn out mushy; added too late they would not be fully cooked when the meat was done.
In the same way, we are tested by fire and refined for God’s purposes. He adds circumstances to our lives at just the right time so they shape our characters, like the perfect crock pot meal, slowly cooked to perfection. He never puts more on us than we can bear. The reasons for our trials may never be revealed to us, but have faith that they are part of God’s Master Plan. Bon appetite!