Day 24 – Cliché a Day: (A) Watched Pot Never Boils

By Deb DeArmond

“A watched pot never boils, babe,” I advised my hubby of just a few weeks.

He continued to stare at the pot filled with still stiff pasta.

Silence. Then, “What kind of pot is it?” he asked.

“A watched pot. You know – it will never boil,” I replied.

“Then why are you trying to cook the pasta in it?”

We had received a great many kitchen items as wedding gifts, including a variety of pots and pans: Crockpots (4 of them!), a Dutch oven, copper clad pots and more. He misunderstood that a “watched” pot was not a type or brand of cookware. I literally meant a pot that’s being watched or observed. Apparently my mother had a few favorite sayings that his didn’t.

The concept here is that the more diligently we watch to make sure something is happening, the more it may be delayed.

Life is like that at times. The single surfing the web for the perfect mate. The monthly disappointment when trying to conceive. The harder we look, the longer it takes.

The farmer does not plant his seed and then go watch it minute by minute, nor does he dig it up to make sure it’s still there. He trusts the process.

Why is this hard for us to do? Simple. We have a preference for controlling things. For the Christ follower, in particular, this is a problem. God asks us to trust him with our lives. That’s His process.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

We once faced a difficult diagnosis for my mother after a devastating car accident. The doctors told us there was nothing they could do but wait and see how she responded. It was difficult news to face, but it was easy for my husband and I to respond with prayer and faith in a merciful God. Why was it easy this time? Because there’s was absolutely nothing else we could do. No other efforts were possible.

But in the face of financial difficulties or concerns about a child’s behavior, it’s easy to fall into the process of taking matters into our own hands,using whatever methods we might select. Take on a side job to deal with the money problems. Read a new book by a popular author on childrearing. Neither of these methods is wrong, unless they replace turning to God in prayer and trusting Him to direct us.

God does not expect us to do nothing in difficult times. He expects us to pray and seek His will. He may in fact lead us to pursue some of the ideas that have occurred to us. But He wants to direct the traffic in our lives. He wants us to trust the process, trust Him.

It’s not when things are rosy in life that our faith is built; it happens in times of trouble and difficulty.

The more we monitor and work to manage our circumstances, the more frustrated we may become. If you want to watch something, forget the pot. Watch God fulfill His word to His children!

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