Turn Up the Heat

A few weeks ago, we were all gathered together at our local assembly, fellowshipping around the LORD’s Supper. It was drawing toward the end of the meeting and there was a peace and quietness in the room. While I was sitting quietly, I noticed an odd smell – almost like something was burning. No alarms were going off and no one else seemed to notice. There were only about 10 minutes left, and per normal, after the loaf and the cup were passed, the lady serving in the kitchen that day left, to go downstairs and complete preparations for the mid-morning snack.

I can’t say that I really heard weird noises, but there was some shuffling below stairs. Once the meeting was wrapped up, we all started to make our way to the fellowship room. Step by step, the smell became an odour and then the odour became a stench.

Every week, before the meeting begins, one of the ladies heats water for tea and coffee; including a backup pot on the stove. The water is boiled and then the burner turned to low, so that there will be plenty of hot water for snack time. This morning, the pot boiled dry. The smell I’d sensed upstairs was the heat moving through the metal of the old aluminum pot and then the pot melting down, through the burner.

Even though nobody could tell what was happening, it turns out that several of us could smell that something was wrong, but none of us thought that it was serious, so none of us got up to check. Because we didn’t recognize the warning signs, we didn’t intervene. Damage that could have been minimal, was left to fester, until ultimately, the pot was destroyed.

We’re wrapping up week two of social/physical distancing and self-isolation. I’ve lost my job. My daughters have all lost their jobs. The beaches (my happy place) are closed. My mission trip overseas is on hold, indefinitely. The cat came home with a tick. It’s snowing! and yesterday, before supper, our well/pump stopped working. I’m starting to feel a little bit like that pot. The steam is building; the heat seems to be getting hotter and there is high potential for me to burn dry. But I love the way that the LORD speaks to me in object lessons, teaching me so simply that I can’t help but understand.

To save that pot, all that had to happen was to remove the source of the heat. In my situation, I can’t stop the things that are going on around me, but I do have the resources to still the water.

Luke 12:25-26

And which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to his span of life? If then, you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

Psalm 94:18-19

When I said “My foot is slipping, your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

With all of the fear and media hysteria overwhelming the news and online outlets, we need to remember that we serve a God who is not only in control, but so in love with His creation, that He delivered His Son for our salvation.

Psalm 95:1-2

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

The object lessons that God blesses me with are often inadvertent – in other words, something happens and then I see something in it that is not really related to the actual incident. When everyone had cleared out of the the kitchen after snack time, I took a few minutes to look at that pot. The metal had melted down, through the rings of the burner, rendering it useless. Looking into the well of the pot, I could see down through the hole. When I flipped the pot to the underside, I was delighted with what the LORD had given me.

By taking the time to stop and process through the situation, God gave me some unique insight into His plan. From the bottom of the pot, the hole was distinctly shaped in the form of a heart – His heart for His people.

Psalm 116:5-6

The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

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