A Pressure Cooker for Jesus
One of our favorite kitchen tools is our trusty little pressure cooker. In a pinch it is a handy soup pot, but it really shines when the rubber-sealed lid is locked into place and the pressure rises. What would take several hours in any ordinary pot can be cooked in a matter of minutes—with better taste and texture.
This morning I was praying over the needs of the day as I prepared breakfast. As usual, the pressure cooker was busy. This time cooking up our millet cereal. The gentle hiss of escaping steam reminded me to keep an eye on the pressure gage. As it rose to the second ring, I noted the bulge of the gray-blue seal through a slot on the lid. What a faithful little cooker, I thought, standing up to all that pressure for us!
My fingers deftly turned down the heat, but as I knelt to pray the image of the pressure cooker remained in my mind. Lord, let me be a useful tool in Your hands today. You know how much heat to apply to perform Your work in my life. You know the pressure needed to get the job done. A pressure cooker for Jesus? Yes, it is His purposes I live to fulfill. I knew He was ever aware of my slightest call, just as I was listening to the hissing of steam from the pressure gage. When tensions rose, didn’t He listen to my cries for help, ready to turn down the heat if it was too much?
Hissssssssss. A slight change in tone reminded me to check the pressure. The temperature needed to be raised slightly. As I touched the heating dial I thought of my Master. Weren’t His fingers controlling the trials and pressures I would face today? If He knew I needed more heat, then that would be best. I smiled, glad that I could trust Him.
It had not always been so. I had often rebelled at the trials God had sent my way. Like our little cooker without its seal, I could not endure much heat without spitting and sputtering. I was more trouble than not, I remembered. The Lord couldn’t use me very much because I kept my “vent holes” open for escape in times of trial. Sure, I had wanted to serve God with my life, but I thought I had my limits. Too much pressure was too much! O foolish little vessel, not to trust the Master Cook! Who was I to say when and how much?
Faithfully God had showed me that I must be purged from “my limits” to fulfill His will. I had to receive the seal of His Spirit to become “a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21) Yes, that was it! The pressure cooker illustrated the lesson so well. With my life sanctified for His use, He had full control and could use me as He wished. Often with some pressure. After all, that was needed to bring out the best taste and texture, wasn’t it? I smiled at the thought of a new day with Jesus to do the cooking in my life. The results were sure to be good!
Ring-a-ring! The telephone broke through my meditation. At this early hour it must be another call for subbing in the local school district. How should I respond to this request on an already busy day? Lord Jesus, You know what pressures I can handle. I picked up the phone with new confidence. I was His vessel ready for His purposes, after all.