This weekend, I rushed home from a half shift on Saturday, eager to get a batch of raspberry jelly underway. Our bushes are loaded and when the harvest is ready, there’s no putting it off until later.
I tossed a load of clothes in the washer, picked my berries, and then started heating up the warm water bath. With only a few hours of sunlight left, I decided to throw the clothes on the line so they’d have time to dry. I hurried by the stove, thinking the empty saucepan on the front burner felt warm.
I’ve never hung a load of clothes line so fast. A task I usually enjoy, was just another thing on my long to do list for the afternoon and evening.
With laundry basket in hand, I dropped it off in the laundry room, grabbed my canning jars from the counter, and trotted back to the kitchen.
Acrid air scorched my nose. The burner! Instead of turning the water bath burner on, I’d turned on the burner with an empty sauce pan sitting on it.
Jars clattered to the counter top. I grabbed the handle of the pot. Heat seared my palm. I threw it. The pan danced around the kitchen floor.
I searched for a pot holder. I ran around my island, snatched the hot pot from the floor and threw it in the sink.
Then I saw it. An ugly black circle marred my floor.
I shrieked. With a scream and a wet dish cloth, I hit my knees. Trying to scrub the burned linoleum, tears stung my eyes. “God, why did you let this happen?”
I heard Him answer, “I saved your house from burning down. Isn’t a small circle better than your entire home?”
Shame filled me. Why did I automatically holler at God when something bad happened?
Head hanging, I thanked Him for sparing our home. Hard times will always come, but we can choose to look for the good and thank God, to praise Him in the storms as well as the sunny weather. I choose to praise Him, even if it takes me a few minutes.
And I realized something else. Trying to split my focus doesn’t really make me more productive. I do things like using a clothes line, growing my own fruit, and preserving it, because I enjoy the simpler lifestyle. If it becomes a hassle, and the joy is gone, then why am I doing it?
God reminded me to give Him my full focus. If we seek the Lord with all our might, He will take care of the rest. Worrying about the next thing will only rob us of the joy in the moment.
As I searched for a throw rug to cover the burn, I realized that God couldn’t have put the charred ring in a better place. Instead of in the middle of my floor, the burn was right in front of my kitchen sink.
And when the throw rug slips and I see the edge of a black ring, I’ll remember God spared my home. Only God could take something ugly and scarred like us, and turn us into something redeemed and beautiful.
When has God protected you from something? What small mishaps around your home have taught you a valuable lesson?
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