There is nothing that says, ‘summer’s here’ like the smell of roasting meat wafting through the air. As a woman who only has a kitchen because it came with the house, any possible way of taking it outside works for me! I loved being able to pass a plate of raw, dripping chicken to my husband and having it reappear golden, juicy and without a messy pan to clean.
I purposely never took on the task of backyard cooking. I had learned years ago that once you are able to do something, the job always seems to default to you; which is why I had never learned how to start a lawnmower or light a gas barbeque!
Imagine my conundrum then my first summer as a single Mom when I stood in front of our old propane barbeque scared to death. I had once attempted to assist a friend at lighting hers . . . our bangs and eyebrows grew back . . . eventually.
There was no way I wanted my girls to never enjoy the freedom from the kitchen that summer brings, but I also had grown rather fond of my newly filled out eyebrows. And, I must say, the smell of singed hair is not at all appetizing.
What was I to do? What had my life become?
As I stood there balancing my plate of nicely marinated skewers, staring down at the cold black metal grates, I felt like such a failure. I had failed in my marriage and now I was set to fail yet again.
Saying a prayer, I put down the plate, and bent over to turn the gas on as I’d seen my EX do many times before. There was no gentle hiss of propane. I lifted the tank only to find it was empty.
As was I.
I slumped down onto the deck. Life was not fair. I had grown so much, managed so many tasks and successfully navigated turns that flipped our lives upside down; but here it was a silly barbeque that brought me to my knees. I just wanted a flame . . . a fire . . . a verse came to mind:
‘So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
As silly as it may seem, my faith was being tested. My whole understanding and relationship with Christ was being tested. So many ‘whys’ were not being answered and I was crying out to my Father . . . to my Jehovah Jireh . . . God was using this empty tank to somehow break me . . . to speak to me . . . I was not super woman after all and perhaps I needed to lean on Him and trust in Him . . .
Just as I was trying to pull myself together and go face the girls, my cell rang. It was my oldest and dearest friend who had been a rock to me. I tried my best to steady my voice and joke about my predicament . . . but she saw through to my pain.
The next day I stood amazed, watching in silence as she and her husband loaded their used electric barbeque into the back of my minivan.
God had heard my cry . . . and He understood my love of seared meat. He cared about a tender woman’s heart . . . and perhaps even her slightly imbalanced attachment to her eyebrows.
He was there . . . even when the fire was not.
Peter 1:7 NASB
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