Stewing

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Mulling over her last and possibly final conversation with her sister, Lynn wanted to weep in tired frustration. And as the tears came unbidden, Lynn couldn’t dismiss them as easily as she would have liked.

No, I can’t blame these onions…she thought bitterly. Dicing the onions and mixing them into her black bean soup, Lynn reached for the spices. Gathering the chili powder, cumin and black pepper, Lynn added each ingredient carefully and gave her flavorful soup another stir before placing a lid on the soon-to-be delicious concoction.

Lynn always allowed her edible creations more time to simmer and stew than most recipes called for. She knew from experience that some of the finest flavors blossomed only after having been cooked for long periods of time. Setting the burner on low, Lynn washed her hands again and set her hands to mixing up a batch of corn bread to go with dinner.

Try as she might, Lynn wasn’t succeeding in distracting herself from her mind’s auto replay of her fight with Shelby. Going over the whole conversation was pointless, but Lynn felt compelled to revisit the painful accusations over and again. Feeling her stomach tense and a whopper of a headache blooming, Lynn shrugged her shoulders and sighed.

Lord, what can I do to make peace with my sister? She made it quite clear she doesn’t want to see my family or me until I apologize for offending them. But I didn’t offend, did I? I honestly don’t believe I said anything to warrant such a reaction from Shelby. But she gets hotter than…well, hotter than this soup I’m making! Please show me what the next step is. I’m just not sure what I should or shouldn’t do. Do I submit to her demands or do I just sit back and hope she cools down and gets over it?

No solution is coming to my mind. Then again, maybe I’m still too wired to make a sound decision. Nodding her head in sudden agreement, Lynn glanced over at her soup pot…takes time to make it right, right? Perhaps I need to be patient and give you time and opportunity to work in both our hearts before I rush in and force the issue. Grabbing her quilted potholder, Lynn gingerly removed the lid and took a taste test.

Mmmm…good…but it will be so much more tasty by this afternoon. Patience, Lynn, discipline yourself to wait for the right time…and pray while you wait.

“So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”
Daniel 9: 3

Dear Lord,

I am undone. By my own willful and stubborn pride I have once again alienated my loved one. I feel misery beyond the telling. My heart is shattering and I do not know how to bring healing to it. It seems that I have created a rift that will never mend. Despite my good intentions, I am misunderstood, and even maligned. There is nothing I want more than peace with those I love.

Yet, seemingly, we are always to be at odds with one another. I realize now that there is nothing I can do to change this opinion of me. Apart from daily interceding on their behalf, as well as my own, I am stumped. So, from the abjectness of my heart, I come again to you…like the beggar I am, pleading for the strength and resilience I require. Let not bitterness or anger linger within me. Enable me to press past my own feelings of pain.

Help me, Lord, to offer frequent prayers of supplication for my loved one. And encourage me to do this small service with passion and consistency. As I seek to set aside the hurt I am experiencing, I pray that you would bring comfort of the sort I need. Be my support and help during this time of trial. I would release this relationship now into your care and keeping, confident that you alone hold the power to redeem it for your glory and honor. I willingly place my complete trust in you.

Amen.

“This is the paradox: Victory comes through surrender. Surrender doesn’t weaken you; it strengthens you. Surrendered to God, you don’t have to fear or surrender to anything else.”  Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life

Copyright 2009 Michele Howe

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