Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, and the Explosion

I had never used a pressure cooker until I came here.  It's pretty simple, though. I just put the lid on tight, make sure there is a good seal, and then turn on the stove. Pressure builds up in the pot and cooks the food fast at very high temperatures. Every few minutes the pressure cooker releases pressure in a noisy parade of steam. It's a pretty handy little thing! It saves time and cooking gas. Bonus: When there is a tough cut of meat, the pressure cooker can really help make it tender and delicious.



But I must admit, I miss my slow cooker. Just throw everything in the pot, put the lid on, turn it on, and hours later there is a delicious complete meal ready and waiting. The slow cooker sure makes some tender meat, too! But it does is with a lot less noise.


****************************************

Right now, the heat is on and I am feeling it.


Everyone is screaming for my time and energy.

Our opening first service is this weekend and there is so much to do. And, as is expected, everything isn't going exactly as I would hope. In the midst of it all, I still have to keep up with my daily duties of wife, mom, and homeschool teacher.

Debit card declined at the store because of a little mistake...
Extra mouths to feed almost every day...
Work to coordinate...
Meals to plan...
Publication deadlines and computer glitches to accompany it...
A lovely computer crash...
Pantry was down to rice, rice, and more rice as we are waiting on the end of the month deposit...

And... and... and...

I am like a pressure cooker, building up pressure. Then just the right amount of pressure and...

PPPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTT!!!!!!!

Crabby mommy and wife shows her ugly steam in a quick, heated burst. Anyone too close gets burned.

I really want to be more like a slow cooker. The heat is still applied, but the method is much different.

This morning, I woke up to do my devotions. I really just felt like venting my frustrations. It seems like such a good idea. I mean, I could still be a "pressure cooker" and get everything all done if I just vented a little on occasion. You know, just let off some steam! Not the big explosion, just little releases. Sometimes even the pressure cooker does this. When it is just below the pressure point, sometimes it lets out little spurts of steam as the cap bobbles back and forth. It isn't a full out Pssssssshhhhhhtttttt!!!! More like a Fff....ff...ftt...fff...fftt...ttt...tt...ff...fftt..tt....

Venting. Just trying to ease out some pressure a little at a time. But inevitably, the pressure point will be reached if the heat isn't turned down. If it is teetering at the venting point, the pressure release explosion of steam is just around the corner.

So as I sit with my Bible in hand, somehow I end up in James. (I am not even in the book of James for devotion! How did I end up there?)

And I began to read...
James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"

     Count it all joy, Charity.

               But I don't want to.

     Count it all joy...

               But these trials are hard!

     Count it all joy...

               But the heat is on and the pressure is rising and things aren't going quite like I...

     Count it ALL joy...

               Even the computer crash and the debit card snaffoo?

     Count it all joy...


And I got to thinking about how nowhere in Scripture do we have permission to vent. Cry out to God? Yes, but venting... no. I did some serious crying out to God this morning because I realized I was being a pressure cooker! Venting is the job of pressure cookers. God doesn't want us to be pressure cookers. He wants us to be slow cookers. He doesn't want us to vent... because He wants us to count it all JOY. If I am venting, I am not counting it joy.

I shed tears at this revelation in my heart. Ouch. It goes so contrary to my flesh that it felt like yanking duct tape off my arm. Conviction sometimes hurts very deeply.

So how do I go from being a pressure cooker, sealing in and taking control of everything, forcing it all to go at my pace... and then exploding when the pressure mounts...

To being a slow cooker, taking the heat and submitting to it patiently?

**********************************************

Remember I am the Servant, Not the Master


James 1:1  "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ..."

I realize that sometimes I put pressure on myself by trying to be in control. That's like putting that pressure cooker lid on with a tight seal. But I am not in control. My "lid" needs to stay loose and ready for His will and His purposes. I can rest in His sovereignty!
Knowing the Purpose of the Heat

James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."

A slow cooker doesn't need to know what's being cooked at the moment or what piece of meat is being made tender. To be a slow cooker, I just need to know there is a purpose in the heat. The purpose? Patience... endurance... growth. I don't have to know the "why" of my trials. But to count them ALL joy, I just need to know God is working for my good and His glory. It should excite me that He has turned the heat up to change me.

Don't Rush the Process

James 1:4 "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

"Let" is not "PUSH." Pressure cookers are all about getting it done fast, hence the pressure! Slow cookers are patiently submitting to the heat and they accomplish the same task with a lot less venting. Don't fight the trial. Face the trial trusting God's timing and work.

Realize That Trials are Divers

James 1:2 "... divers temptations;"

It's easy to put on the pressure cooker lid when we get blindsided with a trial we didn't see coming. Trials come in all shapes and sizes. On the field, sometimes trials look a little different than in the States. Support is low for a month or a church drops support because they haven't received prayer letters that you know you have sent or children are struggling adjusting to the field or family isn't supportive or illnesses or...

Don't let the nature of the trial dictate your response. That's why James says "divers" trials. He is reminding us that our attitudes and reactions are not dependent on what costume the trial wears to the party. And since he said "divers" trials, that negates the excuse of "but this trial is different."

Don't Leave Any Area to the Pressure Cooker Method

Count it ALL joy.

It doesn't matter what shape, size, color, or flavor the trial comes in, we should count it all joy because we KNOW God is working in us.

So when the heat is on and the pressure is rising, we should double check our cooking method. Are we being pressure cookers or slow cookers?

1 Peter 1:6-7 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" 

1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

Count it ALL joy...

by Charity, Southern Asia


6 comments:

Janice said...

Great post and so very applicable! Thanks for being transparent and letting us see into your heart and day!

Senkyoushi said...

I needed this right now as I face lots of pressures beginning furlough. Thank you for sharing!721

Wisdomseeker said...

We all have our "pressure cookers" that are just ready to blow a gasket. Thank you for the reminders from God's Word on dealing with them. We know this, why do we seem to forget? Thank you for the wonderful post, it was my devotion this morning. Love ya girl, you are always in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this devotion. To count it ALL... Wow, we read that all the time, but today, it really spoke to my heart! Thanks!!

Lou Ann Keiser said...

Better than good advice, because it's biblical. We have no right to act like pressure cookers. Excellent. God bless you and your family's ministry!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.