The Kettle

Monday, June 3, 2013
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Listen while you read: "I Am Trusting Thee Lord Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (ESV)

Recently, I made a cup of tea in my kitchen. Being English, there is nothing special in that, because I am a frequent visitor to the kettle and my tea caddy.

So it was with some surprise that, having switched on the kettle to make a brew, I returned from a minor chore to find that the kettle was cold. I had forgotten to replace the cordless kettle onto its base that is plugged into the mains.

Now, it was not that I had placed the kettle badly on the stand — which is understandable — it was that the kettle was sitting there in front of its stand, detached.

Oops! No power, no heat, no tea!

From this simple mistake, I began to ponder the scenario and start to join up the dots. Was this simple event God's prodding?

You see, after six years of annual review, I was relieved to gain a fistful of money to retire early last July. Having "won the victory", so to speak, and being able to leave with a small pension was great. Then, for Caroline — clearly all by the grace of God — to find a post lecturing straight away, set my life in a new direction full of stuff to do.

I thought that having left work with a payoff, I could now do everything, rushing about being invincible. But "a haughty spirit [goes] before a fall".

This has not been without its cost, having to deal with healing from my leaving work. I had been severely stressed through the process of championing the need for students' support with my managers. Latterly, added to the meltdown, was the coming to terms with being a househusband at 58 years old. Sadly, I found that I cannot do what I once did, and then there was the realisation that being a househusband is harder work than I had appreciated!

As today's verse really means, self-importance comes before a fall — or as it was in my case, self-reliance and self-importance.

1 Chronicles 29:14b – For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. (ESV)

How great it is to know the truth of that verse, now that I have come to my senses once more. How chilling to know where I have been: out in the world on my own!

Okay, so where does God find us today? Is it resting in His enabling power, or is it having become a bit detached from His love, enjoying our own strength and focused on mammon, destined to grow cold in the business of being important in our own eyes?

Tough call?

Prayer: Lord, it is great to know that You are patient and forbearing as well as holy and righteous. Please do not leave us in the world, left to our own devices, because without You in us, we become cold and useless. Allow us to run into Your arms today and say, "Daddy, forgive us". Grant us a great big hug by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May we then bring that love, power, and warmth into the world where You take us in Your service today, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good reminder Rod.

    So good to ‘hear’ your voice on the Daily again – and as always a thought provoking ~ ‘aha moment’ one.

    Thank you, Rod. This devotional has spoken to my heart and blessed me.

    Thanks for these challenging and authentic words Rod.

    Good morning, Rod: I also, having a British background, appreciate a properly steeped cup of tea.
    And a big hug from my Heavenly Father!

    Thank you Rod for sharing such a powerful reflection for us to bite into and reflect on our walk. As I use the kettle today and forward may I be reminded is this about self reliance as is my tendency at times. Thank you again.

    Dear Roderick, How great it is to hear from you again and that all is well!
    How astonishing that God is with us always no matter where we are in this world — spiritually, mentally, emotionally or phsically. All praise be to HIM!

    Hello Rod
    Welcome back. Lovely to hear that things are on the ‘up’ – in a manner of speaking.
    Blessings to you always.

    Hi Rod;
    Both my husband and I have tea every evening; herbal tea. I will think about your devotional this evening as I sip on my cup of tea. Amen to your prayer. Great devotional!

    Hi Rod,
    Good to have you back doing a meditation. I have wondered how you were doing with the changes in your life.
    Old saying, TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME… and start with prayer.

    Rod, Hello, it has been a long time since we communicated, but I am glad to see you are still around. Now that you will have more free time on your hands, you can write more devotionals for us to enjoy. However, my retirement did not have that effect on me.

    Good to have you writing again or maybe I have missed some of yours.
    Food to ponder.
    Keep writing.

    Rod, welcome back. I have missed your devotionals. Glad to hear that work issues have improved. Being a househusband is an important job.
    God can use you mightily in your home.

    How wonderful to see your name at the end of this devotional. You, indeed, have been in my thoughts and prayers. My guess is you are a perfect househusband to those two young girls and a great help to Caroline. Hooray.

    What a joy it was to open my Daily Devotional this evening and find it was from you!
    You had so much to cope with but it seems that the whole mess has been sorted out – to some degree, anyway. Caroline must be delighted to be in her career. She’s had a tough time, too.
    The girls must be quite ‘grown-up’ since the last time you wrote – well over a year ago.

    Hi Rod,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us other retirees. In my tenth year after leaving my teaching job I have found out, as you too shall. that retirement is not what the dictionary lies it means. While teaching one has one job. In retirement one has many. So put the copper on and have a nice cup of Rosy lee and relax while you still can before they come and get you. You will need every bit of help the Lord can give you…but don’t take my word for it.

    Hi Rod,
    Good to see a devotion of yours on the Daily! I, too, am realizing that I cannot do anything in my own strength. Oh how I need God’s strength from day to day. Your prayer – Allow us to run into Your arms today and say, “Daddy, forgive us”. Grant us a great big hug by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May we then bring that love, power, and warmth into the world where You take us in Your service today -will be a part of my daily morning devotion time today and every day – it’s beautiful! God bless you,

    Dear Rod:
    Good to hear from you again.
    You are right, retirement has it’s own set of rules and setbacks. I dreaded the “having nothing to do”… big laugh here.
    God has given me things to do and learn. No one was surprised when I became a painter, but I was. Volunteers are so needed, that’s us.
    Pride can be such a spoiler, we all deal with it. Thankfully God shows us how to deal with it, since it is universal. Be at peace and enjoy your youngster.

    Thank-you Rod for this devotional. Most refreshing! Blessings on your days, and continue to enjoy your cups of tea!

    Dear Rod,
    It was good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing about how your life has changed in the past while. There have been others who have accepted extra money with early retirement. I am so glad that you and your family have been taken care of you by our precious Lord. Praise Him.

    Oh Rod, thank you for sharing your struggle with us and the much needed lesson drawn from it. Can I ever identify with the change from being in the ‘workforce’ to being full time at home. What a shock to the central nervous system! But what a relief to know that our Saviour had it all planned out from the start, and that we have Him to rely on instead of our fallible selves. Blessings.

    Congratulations on your retirement! It does take some time to adjust to it. Hopefully you will continue to contribute to the Daily Devotionals.
    Blessings to you & yours

    Dear Roderick Marshall,
    Thank you for your devotional. It reminded me of the beginning of the hymn,
    Through all the changing scenes of life,
    In trouble and in joy,
    The praises of my God shall still
    My heart and tongue employ.
    And what a tender and feeling prayer!
    “Grant us a great big hug by the power of Your Holy Spirit.”
    Keep writing,

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