How wrong I was about that!
My spaghetti tasted terrible yesterday and you know I wasn’t happy about that Daily Cup family, because spaghetti is my favorite meal.
So, what happened?
Well, my usually delectable pasta dinner was ruined by freezer burned meat that I should never have used in the first place. I could see the ice crystals all over it and a few dark spots through the thin plastic film when I examined it prior to cooking it.
The ground turkey had been in the freezer way too long for it not to be packaged better. But since my husband Kenya bought a new grill, cooking dinner outdoors is his new favorite pastime. Because of that, some of the meals we regularly enjoy, like pasta, which is why we keep a supply of ground turkey meat in the house, have been momentarily kicked to the curb. This summer, grilled chicken breasts, fish, and seafood entrees are most popular with our family.
“This is no good,” I shook my head and mumbled to myself while eyeing the icy chunk. But I really don’t like throwing away food.
I’m not quite as extreme as my late Auntie Lola was, however. Whenever she cleaned out the refrigerator, instead of tossing the moldy leftovers into the trash, she'd dump everything into a huge pot and make soup.
The idea of that might seem quite grotesque, I know. But once Auntie Lola spiced up her concoction, which she made me and all my siblings eat, it was so good.
You’re probably grimacing and saying, “Eeeew!”
But we survived. Our bellies were full. And our "refrigerator soup" was delicious. Come to think of it, my Auntie Lola - God rest her soul - could make a cardboard box taste like filet mignon!
Anyway, since freezer burn in no way affects the safety of food, although it dehydrates the meat, changes its texture, and ruins its flavor, I convinced myself that I could probably doctor on it enough not to notice.
That was a very wrong assumption.
[Insert gagging sound here.]
All my onions, green peppers, spices, and special seasonings, did nothing to revive that dried out, neglected meat. Even though everything looked wonderful when the Hobbs family sat around the dining room table to eat, the taste told the real story.
No, I’m kidding.
We all endured it and slurped down that deplorably bad spaghetti.
Needless to say, last evening’s supper left something to be desired.
As I mourned the sad state of my pasta, I thought about how my perfectly good meat became a savorless mass, because it wasn’t packaged right in that frigid environment. The very same freezer that is a beneficial preservation tool for meat, after prolonged exposure without proper protection in the form of a Ziploc bag, vacuum seal, or Saran plastic wrap, becomes harmful.
The environment isn't always the problem. Often, it's our lack of preparedness and protection within our environment, that causes us trouble. There are specific circumstances and opportunities that can be very helpful if we are equipped to handle them, but detrimental if we are ill-prepared for them.
That’s why we must allow God to order our steps, guide us, and direct our path. He won't take us anywhere a moment sooner than we are empowered to go. He knows what our capacity, ability, and mentality will allow us to handle. So our loving Father protects, shields, and insulates us when we abide in Him.
If we step outside His will, we forfeit our protection and that's when the danger comes in. When we exalt ourselves and lean on our own understanding, we end up on our own. As a result, we get burned... badly, just like meat with no freezer bag.
Daily, we must lean totally upon the Lord. He won’t ever steer us wrong. He won’t allow us to inhabit places before we’re ready. And He’ll be with us, even in cold, hostile, troublesome environments, so we can survive and thrive.
Perhaps your environment is unfamiliar and/or less than ideal. That's no cause to fear.
If you know you’re walking in obedience to God and are in His will, you can be sure that you are right in the place where He desires you to be. Just know that He is your protection, shield, and refuge.
To remind you not to worry or be afraid, I’m stirring Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV into your cup of inspiration. It says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
When you drink down the contents of your cup of inspiration today, you will rejoice in knowing that our mighty God will keep you, carry you, and coach you as you navigate through treacherous waters, rough terrain, and fierce storms of life.
You will be reminded that there’s no need to fear the environment when the one who controls the environment is in you and for you. Romans 8:31 NIV says it best: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Now let’s pray.
God, I thank You for reminding me that You are for me, with me, in me, and working through me. Please help me remember, if I always put You first and seek You for guidance, You will lead me on the right path. Today, I come against any fear, doubt, and worry over any circumstances that may come to try me. As long as I have You, the Greatest one of all, I am more than a conqueror. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with You. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.