growing in wisdom

What’s In Your Skillet?

Guess how long it took me to remember how much I love cooking on a gas stove?

About 2.5 seconds.

Using plyers, I turned the naked knob post on my stovetop, listened for the click, and voila—a flame of blue.  I grabbed my favorite cast iron skillet and christened it with a pat or two of butter. As the butter sizzled across the bottom of the pan, satisfaction ran over my face.

It was an almost poetic moment, aside from the set of plyers.

I do love the gas stove, but my cast iron skillets love it more. Oh, they tolerated the electric cooktop but left remnants of their dissatisfaction—permanent scars on the glass.

So, yea. My skillets are happy, too.

Recently, I was preparing dinner for my daughter’s birthday. It was a simple, one-skillet dish. So, with two hands, I reached for my favorite. Having prepared this dish a hundred times, I  began like usual. But somewhere early on, things went awry. My favorite pan filled with water instead of scarring my shrimp with a beautiful black. I poured off and mopped up. And yes. I grumbled and complained, fearing I had lost my touch while the skillets had been hiding out in cardboard boxes.

I navigated the fiasco as best I could.

Before dinner was complete, five black pans sat sizzling on my stove! Five skillets to cook a one-skillet dish.

Yes. The grumbling continued.

But there was a little nugget that showed itself in this little dinner debacle.

Surely you knew there was more to this story?

In the middle of the chaos, I changed skillets, washed skillets, and returned skillets to the stove. And here’s what I saw. My favorites rinsed clean without a rub. Hot water on the hot skillet removed whatever was left behind. The debris rolled right off.

My not-so-favorite cast iron wonder held on a little tighter to its contents, daring me to use the forbidden detergent. Or sponge. Waited to see if I would break.

I knew why. Some of my skillets are better seasoned than others. And the well-seasoned cast-iron skillet doesn’t hold on to the unnecessary or unwanted. Primed and prepared, it releases.

And while I stood at my sink, hot water running over a stubborn pan, I knew that too often my heart looked much like it — holding on to things I should release: hurt, worry, and fear.

When my heart isn’t seasoned or primed with the truth of God’s love for me, I hold on to hurt too long. I give fear room to party, and worry overstays its welcome. I fight for control. And well, it’s not pretty.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.

Psalm 143:8

But when I let the love of God season my heart, I can release that need for control more readily. I don’t hold on to hurt, and my own words hurt others less. My fear hushes. Worry moves on.

Life can be messy. And often it’s five- dirty-skillets messy. Things we don’t see coming, come anyway.

So get out your best oil and season your favorite skillet. But only the love of God can truly season your heart.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

EPHESIANS 3

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