Making Porridge

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Listen to this devotional:

Proverbs 3:5-7a – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes. (NIV)

Proverbs 3:5-7a – Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. (MSG)

My morning ritual is the same every day: put the pot on the stove, add water and seasoning, and have all ingredients ready to go. Then comes the hard part. I hate lumps, so the water must be boiling hard, and as the ingredients are slowly added, I stir like mad.

Would you believe that I use the handle of a tablespoon to stir? I discovered by accident that stirring with an upside-down spoon works best. Round and round we go, until the porridge takes form, and then, in go crushed walnuts, golden raisins, and bits of apple. Delicious! Especially so, as I admit to shaking a little raw sugar on top.

One morning, as I proceeded with all this action, it occurred to me that here was a parable of the Christian life. Sometimes, a day does go round and round, boiling over inside of me, with confusion and frustration. I stir frantically, but seem to be upside down, getting nowhere, going in endless circles. Have you ever felt that way: unable to cope, trying to avoid lumps?

What to do? Here is where we need to have a talk with Jesus. We need to surrender the "spoon" of our lives as an instrument in our Lord's hand. As Jesus holds us firmly, suspended in the thick of it all, we hear these words from today's Scripture: "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own." Let's admit it. We go in circles when we think that we know what we are doing. When we are getting nowhere, fearful and empty, we listen for God's voice and trust God to make our path clear. Thus, we avoid lumps of pride taking over.

Now, with Christ Jesus holding our lives firmly in place, we start the day together and approach the breakfast table confidently. Following Jesus' directions, this porridge has turned out to be delicious after all.

Prayer: Lord, we have learned a lesson in humility. No longer will we assume we know it all. No longer will we try to figure out everything on our own. We acknowledge You as our Lord and God and ask You to direct our paths this day, making our way straight, so that we avoid the confusion of going in circles. Being held firmly by Your hand, even when we are upside down in turmoil, we trust You to keep us on track. You know best. Lord, we are listening. Amen.

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Iris Ford

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