THE BURNT SAUCEPAN

Activated - - NEWS - EVE­LYN SICHROVSKY IS A CON­TENT CRE­ATOR FOR CHIL­DREN’S ENGLISH ED­U­CA­TIONAL BOOKS AND MA­TE­RI­ALS. SHE LIVES IN SOUTH­ERN TAI­WAN. BY EVE­LYN SICHROVSKY

NOT EVEN THE DARK CLOUDS AND GUSTS OF THE ICY WIND OUT­SIDE seemed as bleak and cold as my heart. As I pulled a saucepan from the cup­board, mea­sured wa­ter and dried beans into it, and turned on the stove, my mind wan­dered, re­trac­ing the events of the pre­vi­ous weeks and months.

Two hours later, a sud­den whiff car­ried down the hall caught my at­ten­tion: smoke! I ran to the kitchen. Black clouds bil­lowed, and the saucepan lid was rat­tling un­der the pres­sure. I quickly turned off the stove, grabbed the saucepan, put it in the sink, and turned on the faucet. Wa­ter siz­zled as I lifted the lid.

The en­tire pan had been burnt coal black, and there was noth­ing left of the dried beans but a smol­der­ing melted lump. Even the lid had been charred. I’d burnt many pots be­fore, but never so badly. It’s ru­ined! I thought. There’s no hope in try­ing to scrub it.

Stand­ing there sur­rounded by the smoke and steam, I couldn’t help see­ing a re­sem­blance to my life at the time: a burnt, black­ened mess. It’s ru­ined! There’s no hope in try­ing to fix it.

As I sank into bed that night, my thoughts reached out to Je­sus. I love you, Je­sus whis­pered back, and I al­ways will, no mat­ter what you have or haven’t done. To­gether, we can al­ways start anew.

My burnt saucepan be­came an in­spi­ra­tion, giv­ing me courage when the feel­ings of con­dem­na­tion threat­ened to re­cap­ture me. I spent hours

Though your sins have burned you black, I will make you clean and sparkling again. Though you feel charred and ru­ined, I can give you a new life.— Isa­iah 1:18, para­phrased

scrub­bing it with scour­ing pow­der, and the coal black slowly gave way to gray, then tan, then fi­nally its orig­i­nal sil­ver. As the specks of sil­ver ex­panded, my faith to per­se­vere on the climb to­ward in­ner healing was bol­stered. At last, I held a sparkling sil­ver saucepan, cleansed of ev­ery spot of black.

I learned that when God for­gives He not only for­gets, but He also heals. His undy­ing love gives us courage to get up from where we’ve fallen, faith to let go of our past, and hope to walk for­ward into the future.

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