I love to try a new recipe. Recently, a good friend of mine posted a recipe for Slow Cooker Ribs on her Facebook profile. I’ll tell ya, they looked awesome! So, I decided to give them a try. I texted her and asked for the recipe and she gladly returned the link. She also told me that they were on sale to boot! I hurried over to the supermarket, picked up my baby backs and headed home with the intention of making this recipe in the next few days.
Now, I’m sure I’ve told you that I am the mother of three, the wife of a pastor, the owner of a cat, the green thumb of a patio garden, the Bible study leader, the…well, you get the picture, I’m busy. While all of the menu planning was going on in my head, I was also getting my middle child ready for camp. While packing, he must have been thinking about those ribs. Before heading out the door, he said to me ‘I sure wish I were going to be here when you fix those ribs.” I told him that I would fix them again and that he would be just fine without them.
Each night, I planned to start the ribs the next morning, and each morning I would forget! You see, you can’t cook them quickly. They must be cooked low and slow! The week went on and so did the list of things to do. I was really getting frustrated with this endeavor. I had never cooked them before and it seemed like now wasn’t going to be the time. I was actually beginning to worry that they would spoil if I didn’t settle on a time to prepare them. It was coming down to the wire. I HAD to get started! Then I had a thought. Nick will be home tomorrow. I’ll just wait for him! Perfect! I laid out the recipe, gathered the ingredients, set out the crockpot, asked my husband to NOT let me forget this time, and went to sleep thinking about those RIBS!
When the morning came, I did as I had planned and felt pretty good about finally getting this event underway. All through the day my family was in and out of the kitchen. Every so often, someone would come in and say “man, that smells good.” It really did and I was excited too! I knew that I had finally found a recipe that everyone was looking forward to trying. And finally it was time for the big event – “COME AND GET IT!”
We all sat down together as excited to be looking at the best plate of ribs you could imagine. Oh, and I made all the homemade sides too: corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and fresh cole slaw. I could not wait for my family to enjoy what I had prepared for them. And let me tell you, enjoy we did! It was GREAT and we had BBQ sauce everywhere! Every few bites, Nick would comment on how good the meal was. As he was finishing up he said to me, “Mom, I’m glad you waited for me.” I was too. He really took great pleasure in the meal that I prepared just for him.
I went to bed that night thinking about how happy I felt serving my family and that Nick sure enjoyed that meal. As most hormonally fluctuating 40-something women do, I was having trouble sleeping. I began to wonder what spiritual truth was in this story of the ribs. There had to be something – way too much thought, preparation and production over a few slabs of pork. And then it hit me.
I’ve shared in a previous post that God has been stirring me lately. For many years now, I’ve been simmering. I’ve also been frustrated by that fact. But just like it takes time to properly cook ribs, it also takes time for God to properly prepare me to fulfill His purpose. He’s given me a specific personality, talents, spiritual gifts and life experiences that make a recipe for success in His Kingdom. I needed time to simmer; to marinate; to become tender; to become seasoned and ready to be the best that I can be for Him. And one more thing to consider…the people that I am to impact have to be present for the “meal.” I pray that I will hear them say, “thanks for waiting.”
Are you like me, frustrated with the simmering process? Do you wish it was your time to serve? Are you thinking that God has left you on the stove? I promise that He hasn’t forgotten you! He will use you to feed many and all the glory will be His.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1