Call it newlywed naivety, but when Wade and I were first married and living in Florida, I just knew my vintage Club Aluminum cookware was causing him premature dementia (remember the conspiracy theories?). Turns out, he’s just a normal, good ol’ male: typically forgetting the needed items that sent him out to the grocery or finding it difficult to multitask past watching Sports Center and snacking (bless his big, sweet heart). I’ve since parted with my Club cookware, but not because of any dementia diagnoses… rather, I’ve gone back to my roots: cast iron.
CI is basically indestructible (necessary for my kitchen–considering all the moves we’ve made as baseball gypsies). I also love that when well seasoned, CI is a chemical-free alternative to nonstick manufactures. My parents hardly ever cooked with anything else, but my fascination and appreciation grew when Wade and I lived a couple summers in Erie, Pennsylvania. Freezing cold Erie is home to the Detroit Tigers AA-Affiliate team (Go Seawolves!) and the former cast iron cookware producer, Griswold Manufacturing. Griswold products are world-renowned for their high quality and are now collector items in many a kitchen… just ask any dealer at your local World’s Biggest, Best, or Most Awesome Flea Market.
Many cooks, including my own mother, designate one skillet for cornbread. The idea is that the skillet will remain perfectly seasoned and there will always be flawless cornbread with each supper and minimal cleanup. I’ve not used the one she gave me for cornbread for any other purpose, but I’ve been so tempted. Like Eve and the apple—it looks so good and perfect for cooking! Forbidden Fruit… Interdicted Iron…. Same thing?
Just as my mother knows best concerning skillets and cornbread (and probably everything else in life, but that’s just how mothers are), so does our Heavenly Father know best concerning our wellbeing. More than the prized pots and pans in our homes, God has set us apart from non-believers (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:15-16). We are to strive toward a life honoring God—as we, ourselves, are holy—created in His image and heirs with Christ to the throne (Ephesians 1:4, Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:17).
Examine the struggles you endure daily. Perhaps you are dealing with a difficult co-worker, financial constraints, failing health, aging parents, or unruly children, and on and on. Though it is never easy, Paul says to consider the problems “pure joy,” (James 1:2). Each adversity provides an opportunity to become more “seasoned.” If we stay true to who we are–a holy creation–we will emerge refined in the fire and be far more valuable than gold. (1 Peter 6-9).
As followers of Christ, we have been set-apart. That gossipy co-worker, your impressionable kids, and the whole world see how you respond to the inevitable troubles of each day. They are watching, waiting with anxious anticipation on how you will react. Be holy. Offer grace. Be set apart for something good and special. Be a tool for God’s purpose.
- Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. Leviticus 20:26 NASB
- But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct. 1 Peter 1:15 HCSB
- For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. Ephesians 1:4 HCSB
- God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 NASB
- Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17 NIV
- Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. James 1:2 NASB
- In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 6-9 NIV