Words of Worth

The Day My Oven Ruined My Life

November 4, 2011

It was a small thing really – a temporary glitch in some wiring that prevented my oven from preheating. The problem? I had three beautiful loaves of homemade bread sitting on the counter ready to bake. It’s a shame that my hot reaction couldn’t heat up my oven. But that’s not really true. The shameful thing was my hot reaction.

Sometimes life is truly complicated but sometimes our choices are staggeringly simple. We can react (which I did) or respond.

Everyone is familiar with “first responders”. To be a first responder, one has to be calm under pressure, able to think clearly, assess the situation and then implement some form of action. When you think of a first responder, your mind immediately envisions a fire fighter or a triage nurse – someone who is in charge and can take control. When you think of the word reactor – you probably visualize a nuclear plant. There is quite a difference in those two pictures.

In every situation big or small, we can choose to react or respond.

Of course we have a perfect example from the book of Exodus. In Chapter 17, we find the children of Israel camped in the wilderness with a big problem. There was no water for them to drink. Their reaction was to grumble and quarrel with Moses. In fact their reaction must have been almost nuclear because Moses tells the Lord, “A little more and they will stone me.” Now that is quite a reaction. Then God in a show of grace and mercy and compassion provided water for them to drink. How very God-like of our Jehovah Jireh, who always provides for our needs.

However, instead of naming the place there in desert a wonderful name like “The Source of Life Giving Water”, that particular spot in is known as “Massah and Meribah” which means test and grumble. The misbehavior of the people overshadowed the mighty provision of God and He was robbed of His glory.

As we’ve been studying the names of God and you have been pondering the occasions in your life when He showed up in His very God-like way, do you choose to remember the event based on the problem or pain or do you label that spiritual marker in your life with how He rescued you from it?

God provided a neighbor for me on my cold oven day and she happily baked my bread. She later happily ate a loaf of it that I gave her as a way of thanks. Now I can choose to remember my reaction (not a pretty sight) and name that Saturday, “The Day My Oven Wouldn’t Pre-heat and My Life was Surely Ruined” or I could choose to remember it as “The Day God Knew I Needed my Neighbor to Be Home”. Perhaps if I choose the latter, I will also remember next time to take a deep breath and respond instead losing my breath in an ugly reaction.

React or respond? A proper response will always glorify His name. (CT)

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