The Pressure Cooker

Friday, March 13, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Break Thou The Bread Of Life"1 (Lyrics)

I hated the pressure cooker when I was growing up. It hissed and made strange noises. I expected it to blow up every time Mom used it. My bedroom was beside the kitchen, so I had to walk by the scary thing any time I left my room. I'd dash by the stove as fast as I could in case it blew its top.

If you're unfamiliar, the pressure cooker is a sealed, stainless steel pot used to cook food under high pressure. It expels steam from a contraption on the lid and makes scary, hissing sounds.

Nowadays, they make a similar digital cooker that doesn't scare the living daylights out of small children. Thank goodness!

I can relate to the cooker as an adult though.

Sometimes, I feel under pressure and need to vent and let off steam. I'm sure that many others feel this way when dealing with the stresses of life.

In general, I'm pretty easygoing. But sometimes, I'll get hot over something and stew in anger. Then, like the dreaded cooker, I'm about to blow my top. It takes a lot for me to get to that point. But when I do, watch out.

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (NIV)

God warns against doing what comes naturally to us. We want to relieve the strain and give full vent to our rage. I've made that mistake, and it only does more harm. It might make us feel better to blow up at someone, but more than likely, we'll regret our reaction later.

If you've ever felt like I have, then here are five simple ways to let off steam without blowing your top:

1. Walk it off! – Go for a long walk or run. Exercise helps and gives time for thought before making a calm response.

2. Rearrange furniture – This is a good way to release those penned-up frustrations and burn off that negative energy.

3. Write – It helps to write down what's making us angry and why. Sometimes, this simple action can alleviate the anger.

4. Read – Reading takes our minds off the problem for a little while, giving us time to calm down. The Scriptures are especially helpful.

5. Cook – Make comfort food and go ahead and eat some. Calories don't count. They're called comfort foods for a reason. While enjoying the delicious food, think of ways to handle the situation without causing harm.

When the scary cooker has done its job, the meat is tender and delicious. The high pressure worked. The same is true with us. We grow up a little when we stop allowing anger to explode out of us and take time to calm down. Our reactions reveal character and growth.

Even though it's hard to remain cool when we feel steamed, God allows these situations for our benefit. He's working all things for our good and is at work making us better and more like Jesus.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for helping us as we go through life. Sometimes, it's hard, and we lose our tempers. Help us to remain calm and to handle difficult moments in a way that honours You. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Melinda Eye Cooper <>
Cottontown, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Amen to your prayer. I can so relate!

    Thanks, Melinda, and I would add, pray.

    I remember those, Melinda. Good application.

    Good one Melinda. Our pressure cooker blew up regularly due to a faulty gasket, so l certainly relate to your terror!

    This writing is so true!!! I hated that pressure canner. But I never related it to everyday life. Thank you. Great to start the day with a good laugh too. I could just see you! Thank you.

    Enjoyed this. Yes, I remember the pressure cooker. Ours actually blew once and there was forever a stain of stew on the ceiling!!! Mom never used it again.

    Wow! What a great devotional for today. God is allowing all of the virus to happen for our good. Maybe He is trying to get our attention too. Stay healthy fellow Tennessean!!

    Good morning Melinda
    We seem to be under a lot of pressure these days for sure, but Romans 8:28 which you cited says it all.
    Thanks for writing.

    I agree with you in most of what you have written, but with one “Beware:” If you are already overweight, don’t use food for a calming tool. Yes, walk or do other exercises.
    I like this prayer and pray it with you: Help us to remain calm and to handle difficult moments in a way that honours You. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

    This is a wonderful devotional!
    I am experiencing much frustration as well as bewilderment due to the COVID-19 virus changing our lives daily.
    I will remember your first bit of advice-go for a walk! It usually works for me. (Oh, and now I know why my husband often rearranges the furniture!)

    What a gifted writer you are, Melinda. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Thank you for giving us some good pointers, and you may have some for the world as so much fear is taking over. What a great opportunity we as Christians have to share our Faith in Jesus Christ knowing that we will be with Him!!! God bless you!

    Hi Melinda:
    I am so like you, especially temperament. I have found writing and reading ad cleaning help me the most. I thank God this hasn’t happened too many times.
    My husband and I were given a pressure cooker as a wedding present. He would not let me use it! He too had the same experience you did.
    God bless you Melinda and thank you for writing.

    Thank you, Melinda, for sharing this devotional with us. Yes, pressure cookers sound scary, but when monitored carefully they produce tender meat and veggies. My mother loved hers…until she didn’t. One day, for some unremembered reason, she got distracted and the thing blew its top flinging the contents all over the kitchen. She sunk to the floor bawling. I remember hugging her then together we got the mess cleaned up. We had fried eggs for dinner that night and Dad bought her a new safer cooker.

    So helpful and down to earth, Melinda. The 5 things we can do couldn’t be clearer. In my life, however, #5 is a mixed blessing for me as in the past, I have used, ‘comfort’ food as a way to numb myself from reality, rather than turn to God with my troubles, resulting in finally finding a 12 step program to point me to faith and the proper use of food as fuel for my body rather than a cover up for fear, (a real danger in these troubled times). ‘Facing my stuff rather than stuffing my face,’ we in program say. ‘It’s not what I’m eating, it’s what’s eating me.’ If these ‘comfort foods’ were broccoli and carrot salads, of course, that would be fine. But they aren’t. Folks who don’t have this problem still need to be aware that it can start up anytime. I still love your devotional.

    Practical. Love it.
    Deep breathing works for me!

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