. . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. –Isaiah 61:3 NIV
I was making butternut squash soup this past week and had taken a pan of the buttered, cubed squash out of the oven. The pan meaning my largest stainless steel saucepan—with a handle.
Now, I don’t make butternut squash soup too often for several reasons: DH doesn’t like it, it’s a lot of work, and it leaves my kitchen a mess. But it’s perfect for a quick, delicious lunch.
In the process of making this batch, I grabbed the handle—the very hot handle—of the saucepan not once—but twice. Without a hot pad.
Talk about a “stupid of me” moment! Especially since blisters were already forming from the first time.
Since kitchen injuries such as burns and sliced fingers are par for the course for me (I never said I was Betty Crocker), I keep a small bottle of lavender essential oil in a kitchen cupboard. Within minutes of slathering on the oil, the pain eased. By the next morning, no trace of the burn remained. No blisters, no redness.
Because I’d rather use natural remedies than manmade chemicals, I have a medicine cabinet shelf full of various essential oils. My skeptical offspring tease me whenever someone complains about an ailment: “There’s an oil for that, right, Mom?”
They aren’t the only skeptics. I’ve given up trying to convince folks that these oils, which are better for the body than manmade chemicals, really work. So I just use them and hope the results are obvious. And try to keep my mouth shut. But that’s hard when I know of something that will improve their lives.
It’s the same with telling others about the benefits of being a Christian. To receive these blessings is as simple as believing and saying, “Yes” to God.
Simple. But not easy. Because letting go of self-control and accepting God-control is hard, unless we’ve made such a mess of things, divine intervention is our only recourse. (It’s our only recourse anyway.) Or because we’d rather trust in something that we can see, hear, touch, smell, and feel than an invisible God who’s as real as the oxygen we breathe.
That’s probably why there are more skeptics than believers.
But, oh, the benefits of being a believer!
What are they?
For starters, the omnipotent, omniscient God’s presence, protection, and provision. His steadfast love. His mercy. His grace. His faithfulness.
I’m never alone. When I’m puzzled or hurt, weary or overwhelmed, I have a trusted Person to go to who will give me rest. All my needs are provided, so worry isn’t something I waste my time and emotions on. When I need answers, He provides them. It may take time, but He has never failed me yet.
I could go on and on and on. The Bible is filled with the blessings that belong to believers. Like my kids say, “There’s an oil for everything.”
Do you know someone who can use God’s oils?
As we light the second candle on the Advent wreath, let it be a reminder that Jesus came to give us the oil of joy.
Help me, Lord, not to be silent about the oils of Your blessings. Amen.
© 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.