June 25, 2007

A Watched Pot Never Burns

Sharon Jaynes

 

 

Today’s Truth

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27 NIV)

 

 

Friend to Friend

You’ve heard the expression, “A watched pot never boils.” Well I must say, I’ve taken that to heart, and as a result, ruined several good cooking utensils and burned many pots of water. How do you “burn water” you ask? It’s simple. First you put water in a pot and turn the temperature to” high”. Since the water will not boil if you watch it, you leave the room to answer the telephone, fold a load of laundry, or run out to get the mail. One thing leads to another and thirty minutes later, you remember the boiling water. When you return, you discover an empty, warped, blackened pot. This result is most wonderfully observed when overheating a copper bottom pot for at least one hour. Black flakes fall from the charred copper and float to the floor as you remove the abandoned pot from the stove’s heat. Once you burn a pot, no matter how hard you scrub, everything you cook in it after that comes out a little grayish.

 

Each time I have ruined a pot and had to throw it away, I’ve vowed to watch over my brew more carefully. But inevitably, the phone rings or someone comes to the door, and voila - another pot fatality.

 

After six of these catastrophes, the discarded pots were eating into my household budget. I had a few options, one of which was to buy a whistle tea kettle. What a pleasant little song my kettle will sing as she notifies me it’s time for tea, I thought. It was so cute with its shiny new metal, curved slender handle and round copper bottom. But the song it sang was anything but sweet. When the steam built up, that kettle let out an angry shrill that made my dog howl and my family yell at me to “get that thing off of there!” When my little tea kettle got all steamed up and I heard her shout, I had to sprint from wherever I was in the house to rescue my family’s ears. There were no more burnt pots - but this was not pleasant.

 

After a few months of ear piercing reminders and mad dashes to the kitchen, I made a new discovery. I found that if I pushed the button that made the tea kettle’s spout open just half way down and a smidgen to the right, it would catch on the lip of the spout and stay open just far enough to let the steam out so it wouldn’t whistle.

 

You can guess what happened. After two weeks of “breaking the whistler’s rules,” I left the room and returned to a charred empty pot rocking back and forth on the stove’s hot eye. After she cooled off, she went to pot heaven where she was buried at the local landfill.

 

With burnt pot number seven, I think I have finally learned my lesson. Of course we all know that a watched pot will indeed boil - sooner or later. But it’s our patience that seems to have the trouble. Watching seems like such a terrible waste of time, but that’s not what scripture says. Shepherds watched over their flocks by night. Guardsmen watched over their people by patrolling the city walls. And the Proverbs 31 woman watched over the affairs of her household and her lamp did not go out at night.

 

The woman who is in the business of “watching over the affairs of her household” is one who is guarding, protecting, saving, and attending to the people most precious to her. And that certainly is no waste of time. We watch over our family’s physical needs. More importantly, we watch over their emotional and spiritual needs. We bathe them in prayer, listen to their successes and failures, and pay attention to their outside interests and friends. We may never know how many disasters have been averted by a mother’s prayers, availability, and nurturing care. However, if we neglect our family’s needs and get distracted by all the other activities that scream out for our attention, the pot may burn.

 

Yes, I’ve put a new maxim in place in my home. A watched pot will indeed boil, but a watched pot never burns.

 

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank you for my family and the awesome privilege of “watching over my household.” I know there are many women with empty arms that would love to have a family to take care of. Help me never to take my family for granted. Also, help me remember that with this incredible blessing comes a great responsibility to love, care for, and nurture those within the walls of my home. Give me wisdom when I am confused, patience when I am tired, and fullness when I am empty.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

Now It’s Your Turn

Write down all the ways that you watch over your family today. You might be surprised!

 

Write down ways that you can protect your family through prayer.

 

While you watch over your family, did you realize that God is watching over you – His child?

 

Psalm 121:3 “He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep,” (Psalm 121:3 NIV). For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous…” (Psalm 1:6 NIV). “From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-- For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous…” (Psalm 33:13-14, NIV)

 

Think of the many ways God watches over you each day.

 

 

More from the Girlfriends

One of the ways we watch over the ways of our household is by praying for our children, grandchildren, and husband. And one of the best ways to pray is to pray Scripture over them. Sharon has handy laminated prayer cards that make it easy to pray Scripture over your loved ones. To learn more, visit www.sharonjaynes.com and scroll down to the bottom of the resource page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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