A while back my teenage son and I made liver and onions together. We used the cast iron skillet on top of the stove to cook it in.
After the food was very much all gone, I scraped the pan and gave the scrapings to our always-begging-to-be-fed beagle/terrier mix, Lilly.Then I left the pan sitting on the stove for a day or two without washing it. Yeah, I know, lol; don’t judge. It happens.
A couple of days later, I needed more room on the stove as I was rushing to make supper. I saw this black skillet sitting there in my way, obviously empty, and set it on the floor to clear space for cooking. Then, I promptly forgot about it.
As we were relaxing around the supper table, the sound of metal clanging on metal started sneaking into my senses. One of my family members asks me, “Did you mean to give that to Lilly?
“I look over and, sure enough, there she is licking that old, dried, cooked on, liver and onion, savoring every lick like it’s a gourmet meal! 😀
That got me thinking about a couple of things:
- Sometimes we have been walking with God in sweet fellowship, feasting on His love and His word and His Presence. Then we wander away and replace those gourmet times with other, lesser pursuits and activities. We relegate our sweet and loving Savior to the back burner of our heart and wonder why we are going through this dry time.
- Also, sometimes we strive for that which is excellent for periods of time, serving the Lord until we reach burnout. The joy is gone, and the leftover stuff is still sitting on the back burner of our hearts, dried out and unused, while we move on to something else that is good but not best, no longer willing to put the effort into doing that excellent thing.
And just as I ask that you not judge me for not washing my pan, we also should not judge each other for going through these dry times.
When we’re in such a dry place, we might need someone else who appreciates and values that excellent gift in us to come and “sniff it out” and to let us know how wonderful that thing was that we used to do and how much they appreciated it. We might need them to come alongside and help us get through the overwhelm or to give us the grace of time to work through whatever it is that is dragging us down.
Of course, then we will need to actually soak our hearts in the hot soapy water of God’s Word and let Him wash us in the blood of Jesus so that His Spirit can come fill us and reanimate us.
“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:14 NASB
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10,11 NASB
God has given each of His children at least one gift.
It is a gift that can only be done through the filling of the Holy Spirit.
It is not something that we can do by more and more human effort.
Wandering from that close intimacy with our Savior is where we start to experience that burnout, because we are trying to do something in the flesh that we should only be trying to do in the Spirit.
And remember that His precious Words are our spiritual gourmet meal!
We need to feed on them often, not set them aside till the leftovers are all dried up, and we barely remember that they are there.
His Word is alive! Hebrews 4:12
How great His love for us is, even when we wander away!