Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I've Watched Water Boil

I wouldn't say that I'm a chef by any means. I mean, to think about dinner just about puts me in tears if I haven't given it some thought by 4 pm. I'm not sure why, but dinner can stress me out! I always work best when I have a meal plan, but seeing as how I'm not very organized by nature, the meal plan comes about every 4th or 5th month.

So, the kitchen is the room in the house that is a must. I enjoy being in my office. I love my bedroom. However, the kitchen, for me, is a utilitarian-only room. Now, I know there are those out there who love their kitchen, and I love that you love your kitchen because I know I'll get treated very well if I come for dinner.

I can't promise you the same. My BFF Kim and I lovingly joke about how she has the full gift of hospitality and I have the partial gift of hospitality. That girl can get in a kitchen and bring out some of, not only good tasting, but pretty dishes for dinner guests! Add to that her charming personality and great hubs and you've got the full gift of hospitality.

I have the same gift minus the ability to come up with dinner party dinner. Years ago, I actually told her that I would love for her and her family to come over for, get this, hot chocolate. yeah, hot chocolate.

But, if you come to my house for hot chocolate you are guaranteed a good time!

The time I have spent in the kitchen I've learned a few things. It takes time to make a good pot roast. It takes years to learn how to keep chicken tender. And... a watched pot does actually boil.

So, what does this have to do with camping? Well, I figure if I'm going camping the last thing I'm going to take is a kitchen. Not my dad. Let's just say he can make anything out of some dowel rods and 2 x 4's.

He has created a kitchen that is, when closed up, about 3 feet wide, 3 feet tall, and 1 foot deep. Once you pop that bad boy apart and get it all set up you have two sides to cook from, a full set of dishes, cooking pot and utensils, a place to hang your gas burner thingy, and a fold out table top to prepare on. Honestly? It is amazing.

It seems though, that unlike my handy microwave cooking, the camp kitchen takes much longer to cook things. It takes more time to prepare and stew stuff. There's more involved in waiting and watching and simmering. There is where things brew and boil. There we wait and watch and have time to let it get good an mixed in all together. Time to ponder and think. Time to remember. Time to get bitter and angry. Time to let those things of the past that hurt boil into the fabric of who we are until we taste it and feel it in our stomach.

The cooking pot of the soul can burn bitterness into us before we realized it. A watched pot of bitterness boils indeed.

What about resentment? Shake some of that in and let it add some flavor to the pot.





If we leave these things unattended they will boil over in us and make us shriveled up, ugly people. Only when we offer our cup of bitterness to the power of the Holy Spirit do we put out the flame that could leave us scarred for life.

Ephesians 4:31 tells us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.

How the heck to we do that? How deeply have we been wounded? How harsh the rejection? How painful the heartbreak? How hard the slap from life?

I can offer only one thing...humble yourself to the healing power of forgiveness.

You forgive them just as Christ forgave you. It ain't easy, but it is possible.

Just as you were forgiven by the supernatural power of God, so it will take His supernatural power within you to forgive those who hurt you. Forgiveness does not come naturally to us, but it does to Him. Yield to His Spirit in you to do the impossible!

You want to "get rid" of this, then follow the teaching of Paul in the following verse, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God forgave you."

It is only through the great and awesome power of the Spirit that we can ever be free from bitterness.

Do you struggle with bitterness? Trust Him! He can and will free you from it. He'll turn off the burner and throw out the entire kitchen within you. You can stop pouring in the pot the memories and heartbreak. He came to forgive and set free.

Take off the apron, get on your knees, and be free from the poison of bitterness.

If it would help, you could come over and I'll make you some hot chocolate.


Kim Heinecke said...

When I first read this I saw "scared for life" instead of "scarred for life" -- and in many cases (read: me) that is equally true.

And let's clarify something...you offer the best cup of coffee when I come over plus a mean bag of waxy chocolate donuts. And THAT in my book, is demonstrative of the total gift of friendship. :)

Mary Lou said...

I appreciate this post. My husband has just been hurt by the people he has taught in Sunday School for over fifteen years. They are getting on in age and evidently think that it's all about them and have forgotten it's all about HIM. Anyway, we are both battling hurt feelings and resentment and that old ugly root of bitterness. This post was a great reminder to me to dig it out and to forgive them and to go on. Thank you. Blessings.

Natalie Witcher said...

Mary Lou, I pray that neither one of you will let that root come in a take over! God will deliver you from bitterness! Thanks for your honesty

Julie said...

Yea, that root of bitterness, alot like my violets in my old garden.... one big root spreads over and make little root groupings, eventually smothering and pouring into the garden, hiding the beautiful flowers.

Forgiveness is the ONLY way... not for the heart of the offenders, but for our hearts.

Thanks for sharing,

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Bitterness used to be an issue of mine. But about 10 years ago I realized that this wasn't the way life is supposed to be lived. I was able to let go of the toxic emotions and let them go. God helped me with this issue.

Today, I can honestly say that bitterness is not one of my struggles. But I still can remember some of the past feelings from struggles of old. That is just called memories though!