Friday, June 9, 2023

A Recipe for Faith

When I was a newlywed with absolutely no cooking ability, someone gave me a cookbook called Fix It and Forget It. That cookbook was a lifesaver in those early days of marriage. All I had to do was combine a few ingredients in a slow cooker (“fix it”), wait a few hours (“forget it”), and voila! Dinner was served. Those recipes were simple. It’s almost embarrassing how simple they were! But they kept us fed until I mastered some other recipes and skills.
I recently came across a Psalm that reminded me of the fix it and forget it recipes.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
Psalm 37:5 ESV
Simple, right?! Committing your trouble to the Lord is the “fix it” part of the recipe, the put it in God’s hands part of the recipe. Just commit your way, your situation, your struggle to God, and He’ll do the work! Just like those slow cooker recipes, Psalm 37:5 gives us a simple recipe for faith. 
Simple, but not easy. I know this recipe by heart, but that doesn’t make it any easier to follow. 
A couple of verses later in the Psalm we find this:
“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”
Psalm 37:8 ESV
“Fret not yourself.” I think that’s the hardest part of the recipe to follow. That’s the “forget it” part of the recipe. I might commit my situation in words, but continue to ruminate on my struggle. Instead of trusting that the Lord will act on my behalf, I find myself fretting about things or trying to control outcomes. 
Fretting doesn’t cause faith to rise. Waiting and then watching the Lord act, does. 
The simplicity of this recipe for faith isn’t meant to downplay the struggles we face. Instead, the simplicity of this recipe allows us to either fix our attention on the power and might of God, or the enormity of our problems. There’s a correlation between fretting and focusing on the size of our problems. 
Now here’s where this recipe for faith differs from the Fix It and Forget It recipes. Whereas I grew in my cooking skills and stopped using that cookbook, this recipe for faith is a foundational recipe that you will never outgrow, no matter how seasoned you are in your faith. 
So consider this our gentle reminder to return to the basics of faith: Commit it and don’t fret it!
How can you apply this recipe in your life?
What are some strategies you can use to “fret not”? 

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