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John 21:17

The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

November 22, 2000

Making Scrambled Eggs

I could never understand why people liked scrambled eggs. Every time I'd been served them or made them myself, they'd been awful—-hard, rubbery and tough. It baffled me that someone would actually order eggs made that way in a restaurant.

In the past few months, my mother-in-law died and my father-in-law came to live with us. One day he asked me if I could make some scrambled eggs for breakfast.

So I cooked them the way I thought was right, and served him hard, rubbery, tough scrambled eggs.

"These are almost inedible!" he said, laughing.

I didn't say too much, but when he wasn't looking I stooped down and picked my ego up off the floor. I had always considered myself a pretty good cook.

The next day he said, "Would you like some breakfast? Scrambled eggs are my specialty."

"OK," I said.

What he served me that morning was a revelation. These eggs were good—-really good. They were so creamy, they melted in your mouth. I wondered how he did it.

The next time, I asked if I could watch as he cooked them.

He turned the heat on really low and put a lot of butter in the pan. Then he broke the eggs into the pan and stirred them up.

I noticed he knew when to leave the eggs alone for a bit to cook, and when to stir them up to get the right consistency. He also knew when they were done, and he took them off the heat and put them on the plate immediately.

I decided to practice. The first time, I had the heat too high. The eggs cooked immediately. Hard, rubbery, tough.

The next time, I got the heat right, but I didn't pay enough attention to the eggs. I washed a dish, I took out the trash while they were cooking. Hard, rubbery, tough.

The third time, I got the heat right, I concentrated solely on the eggs, but I didn't realize what "done" looked like. I got the usual result.

On the fourth try, I got it right. And I realized what I learned about scrambled eggs also applies to the way I live in fellowship with other Christians.

The heat can't be too high. If I put too much pressure on myself and others to get things done, we will all burn out. I've got to adjust to God's schedule, and wait patiently on him to take care of the things I dream about but am not able to do right now. Otherwise I run the risk of ending up like Saul, who felt he had to force himself to do what only Samuel should have done (1 Samuel 13: 5-14). His actions displeased God so much that it cost Saul the throne.

Concentrate on the eggs. I have to open my eyes to human relationships and pay attention to developing and growing people in the faith. When people are strengthened in Christ, all the other things we need will flow. Martha's problem was that she got so distracted in doing things for Jesus that she missed out on being with Jesus. It was her relationship with him that needed attention. (Luke 10:38-42).

Recognize when they're ready. If I'm paying attention, I will know when people are ready to take the next step in faith or take on a new level of Christian responsibility. But if I hang on to people too long because I want to retain control of the situation or I'm not willing to trust them, everyone loses. Jesus knew how to train people up, but he also knew when to send them out to get experience on their own. (Luke 10:1-23).

Scrambled eggs can be good! And so can fellowship in the Body of Christ. When we make God's priorities our priorities, the results will be what he intends, and the body will grow in strength and power.