Last night after coming home late, and being tired and hungry I looked in the kitchen to see what I could cook quick and easy that would still taste good. I pulled out a new frozen food we had recently purchased. It was a Greek dish, and it looked delicious. I turned the package over for cooking directions but only found instructions for baking in a conventional oven. Just in case there was any confusion, in bold, highlighted letters it read:
“Cannot be cooked in a Microwave”
Well. OK, then.
This was going to take a lot more time than I expected, or wanted! It was decision time now. If I wanted to enjoy that delicious meal, I was going to have to wait awhile. Or, I could break the rules, put it in the microwave and see what happens…
A few years ago, I made the mistake of putting something into the microwave which was clearly marked DO NOT PUT IN MICROWAVE. The consequence was dramatic, involving a small fire, ruined food, and needing to buy a new microwave. ….
I’ve learned it’s best to follow the rules when it comes to microwaves.
Today I was contemplating my daughter’s ongoing treatment in the hospital and I had a small epiphany. We live in a fast-food, microwave-able, instant-cereal world. We turn things on or off with a switch of our wrist, and can find answers with the tap of a key or a click of a mouse. We’ve been conditioned to expect instant answers and quick solutions. But, some things simply cannot be fixed in a microwave. Some things, in order to process correctly and turn out exactly the way they should, need time in the oven.
Before we were born, we lived with God, our Heavenly Father. We learned a lot. But, eventually, we progressed to the point that in order to learn any more, and advance to the “next level”, we needed to go away to school. It was time for each of our spirits to get a physical body, and to live for a period of time on an earth. Of course, God has all power. Couldn’t he have just devised a simpler, quicker way for us to gain knowledge? Did we really have to come and suffer all the pain and heartbreak that an Earth life brings? Wasn’t there some sort of celestial microwave he could put us in for a couple of minutes?
Interesting idea. I’m sure He technically could have designed some sort of “mind meld” or “virtual reality”. [Total Recall, anyone?] But, obviously the actual time we spend on earth processing through this experience is a critical part of our education.
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven”
- (Orson F. Whitney, quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 98).
So, essentially, we are each slowly baking in the oven of life. Sometimes it’s warm and comfortable. Other times we have to endure the blast of the “refiners fire”. In the end, we are promised we will be taken out of the fire, and the results will be perfectly delicious!
God sent us to earth with promises. He has promised he will “never forsake” us. He has promised we are His “work and His glory”! He has promised there is a Plan for each of us. He has promised we are His offspring, – each a beloved son or daughter. He has promised to help us get through this life – and He’s provided all kinds of tools and help – particularly a direct lifeline when things feel too hot to handle - prayer.
God always keeps his promises. We can stand on those and be secure! Our job is simply to trust Him, and remember that all good things come to those who “wait on Him”.
STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD