You know the kitchen gadget as a Pressure Cooker. My wife and I call it the Magic Pot. We buy cheap cuts of meat that would normally take hours to cook, put them in the Magic Pot, apply heat and pressure, then magically we have a wonderfully tender entree. We both prefer the long stewing method but sometimes we want to get dinner on the table without all the wait. Remember, you can’t tenderize meat in a microwave. That radar-emitting piece of machinery is one appliance we’ve both grown to dislike, but that another story.
My mother feared the Pressure Cooker, as she would a hand grenade, and my father loved the fact that she did. He enjoyed tormenting her with the pot as it spewed steam with all the bluster of a tiny teapot.
The one that graced our kitchen when I was a kid, had a large metal block on top that would rock when releasing it’s steam, once it was up to pressure. As I recall, it made a lot of noise and created quite the spectacle for a kid. I didn’t need much to amuse me.
It’s my understanding that the major cause of mom’s fear stemmed from an episode that my Grandma Jo had with one of the infernal contraptions while using it to do some canning. Something had gone wrong with the one she had and the pressure relief valve let loose, shooting shards of half-cooked green beans all over the kitchen ceiling and walls. After that, mom looked at that pressure cooker with fear and disdain. Needless to say, dad did most of the cooking with that particular device.
The cooker actually works with very little pressure. Something less than 15 PSI. Your automobile tires have twice as much and we don’t shy away from them when approaching the car. Anyway, my point is that pressure can be a good thing when applied properly.
God puts the pressure on us from time to time for a variety of reasons. He can use it to get us moving in the right direction; chastisement. But, a lot of the time it’s to make us grow. Nobody desires the crucible for maturity. At least, I can’t think of anyone.
James puts it like this way in his letter: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of you faith produces endurance.”
The next time God is pushing the pressure to 15 or 20 PSI or higher, try to remember that it’s in order to cause you to grow in grace and closer to Him.