I looooove those good ol’ Southern-style green beans. They’re the ones that are from fresh green beans that have been cooked for several hours, with some bacon fat or ham added to give a lovely fattening coating over those nice healthy veggies! However, because it does take several hours to make, I have usually opted for a quick version of beans that satisfied my taste for this delicacy only partially.
Then this summer I was given my mom’s pressure cooker. Up until that time I was really afraid to use one. I had visions in my head of the steam in the pot reaching such levels that I would look up only to see a lid-sized hole in the kitchen ceiling! So after getting this pot washed and ready to use, I went to the Internet to watch a video on how to safely use my new gadget. After several viewings, I learned all the safety precautions and tips on how to get those Southern green beans. I followed all the instructions and Ta-da – in 25 minutes I had beans that tasted like they’d cooked all afternoon!
As I watched the video on the Internet, I learned how to adjust the valve and the temperature to keep the steam from getting too extreme and causing pressure problems (a hole in the ceiling!). I also learned to take the pot to the sink at the end of the cooking time to allow a little cool water to drip over the lid and reduce the pressure. That preparation helped me accomplish the task!
You know what? There are also techniques in life to help us reduce the pressure. Just as I had to think through the process of cooking the beans properly, stopping to think through what we’re doing and then preparing for it will help to reduce whatever pressure we’re facing. Right now, our church is going through two weeks of revival meetings. That can add a lot of pressure to an already busy life…unless we stop to think it through, pray it through, and then prepare. So, anyone going through a pressure-filled time, ask yourself a few questions:
What can I do to adjust the “heat”?
Eliminate a few activities?
Lighten the home school load?
Lower the expectation of what I need to accomplish today?
- What will add a little “cool water” right now?
- Spend specific time in prayer for the meetings (or whatever is causing your pressure)
- Pray for those involved
- Pray for your own response
- Pray for your attitude
All through the day, encourage your heart by listening to good music, reviewing Scripture memory verses, listening to radio broadcasts that will turn your heart to the Lord. Keeping your focus on Christ instead of the pressure will give you aright perspective!
Make sure you (and your children) get adequate rest.
Plan a fun activity for Friday night (our off night for revival)
I don’t use a pressure cooker every day. We don’t have revival meetings every week. Not every day is one filled with pressures Let’s make the necessary adjustments and preparations so that instead of it being an experience that we dread, it will be a time of wonderful and blessed results that are lasting. We might even learn to appreciate those pressure-cooker times because of the end result!