Pinto Beans on the Ceiling by Carolyn Tucker

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom

I’ve heard way too many stories about the misconduct of a pressure cooker. I know of one country cook that had to scrape pinto beans off the kitchen ceiling, walls, and floor because her cooker blew its stack. I’ve never blown up anything because I’m afraid to use a pressure cooker, so I don’t even own one! I don’t like messes so, just to be safe, I practice patience and “w-a-i-t for it” by using a slow crockpot.

Everybody can skip through life when the sidewalk is smooth. But whether you’re a Christian or an unbeliever, we’re all going to experience segments of life in a pressure cooker. That’s where the rubber meets the road and you find out what you‘re made of. “You are a poor specimen if you can’t stand the pressure of adversity” (Proverbs 24:10 TLB).

When heartache, adversity, and disappointments knock on your door, that means they have arrived. And you better know what to do with them. Don’t hang out the “welcome” sign or roll out the red carpet! Adversities are uninvited and unwelcome visitors and they cannot take up residence in your life. Don’t let troubles set up camp in your heart and soul. We have to know how to hand them off to Jesus and keep them in proper perspective. Otherwise, they will get out of hand and be blown up all out of proportion. We have to deal with adversities similar to what Samson did — tie their tails together, set ’em on fire and send ‘em packin’ (Judges 15:4-5).

Your attitude and actions are extremely important to you, God, and everybody around you. The Bible tells us that troubles can’t keep a good man/woman down. “For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again” (Proverbs 24:16 TPT). You can be bold as a lion, strong as an ox, and stubborn as a Missouri mule when you’re believing and standing on God’s Word.

The gospel song, “I Shall Not Be Moved” would be a great motto for Christians to adopt. “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8 NKJV). No matter what life throws our way or dumps on our porch, we cannot let it destroy our joy, peace, and confidence in Christ Jesus. Believers can say, “I am standing on the promises of God and I shall not be moved.” (So take them apples!)

The last thing I want to do is profess to believe in Almighty God and then be a poor specimen of a Christian because I won‘t trust God. My heavenly Father will take care of me and He‘ll take care of you. God has been good to me all my life and I’m confident that His love and my faith in Him will extend to my last breath.

Don’t wait for hard times to show up and then try to scrape up your spiritual weapons for battle. That’s like heading to the root cellar after the tornado blew up your house. Dig into that foxhole with God and prepare daily for life’s advancing trials. ”Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT). Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

The Key: If you can’t take the pressure, get out of the kitchen and into God’s Word.

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