I have a favorite potholder in my kitchen. It was already old when I found it (in a yard sale). Now it's in the state of needing to be discarded, but I don't.
I love that it's in the shape of a chicken (one of the "themes" in my kitchen) and that it folds so nicely around the pot handle. But what good does that do if the stuffing is missing in strategic places. The other day I grabbed a hot pan, again, and promptly dropped it as soon as the pain in my hand registered in my brain!
Caroline Stephen, a Quaker in 1890, wrote, "Before we can enter into an intimate and blessed communion with God which transfigures all life, two great conditions must be fulfilled: everything, from the least to the greatest, is to be taken as His language [which] we must learn to interpret, and we must be willing to face all pain as His discipline (i.e. training)."
I am being trained to get rid of my pot holder each time it causes me pain. But have I done so? Nooooo. Why? Because I love it! And each time I tell myself next time I'll make sure I arrange the holder to make sure I'm gripping the hot pan with the padded part. But do I? Nooooo. I forget every time.
If you are experiencing pain in your life, whether it's physical, mental, or emotional, perhaps it's time you wonder if there might be something you need to give up. It might even be something you need to start doing. Whatever it is, you will be surprised how quickly the pain stops. But I can hear someone saying that the pain of giving up whatever "it" is will be too great. If that's the case, then you have to choose, don't you. Because, you do, afterall, have a choice. This is the first part of Caroline Stephen's advice to "learn to interpret His language" because if you choose what God says is best for you it's going to be for your benefit even if there's some pain involved as you let go of the old thing. As for me, I'm going in the kitchen right now and retire that potholder! It no longer "works" for me.
Father, the first lesson I must learn is to want to do Your Will. I am fully aware that my own stubbornness causes me most of my pain. And yet, You do not give up on me! Thank you for showing me there is still hope for me.
Link to scripture: http://bible.cc/hebrews/12-11.htm
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