Sunday, September 20, 2009

"The Egg Versus the Potato," By Kelli Zaniel

I desire for my heavenly Father to gaze down from the heavens to see me diligently preparing my earthly home for others the way He is preparing my heavenly home for me (see John 14:2).

In the ring tonight, we have an egg in one corner and a potato in the other. The smooth, incredible edible egg versus the rough, googley eyed potato. Yes, I was cookin’ up some supper and decided to engage my foods in fight night! As the water began to bubble and brew I dipped the eggs in one pot and the potatoes in another. The race was on! Who would finish first? Which food group representative would remain intact after battling against boiling temperatures and extreme environmental pressures? Can you tell I am the daughter of a retired chemistry teacher?

To the touch, both the egg and potato are hard. As the heat rises and the pressure builds, both the egg and potato get knocked around in their heated match. As the bell chimes and the fight comes to an end, the MC grabs her spoon and swiftly tosses each into their separate corners. The winner is…. the good ole potato. He started the good fight dressed in a rough and tough exterior. However, with constant exposure to open-air boiling, his rough exterior began softening. The egg was surrounded by the same environmental pressure but his exterior remained hard. Wouldn’t you agree that some folks are eggs and some are potatoes?

When life calls me into a heated match, how will I react? When I am dipped into boiling waters of trouble, what will my heart look like? Will it be hard like the egg who remained unchanged when the heat was turned up? Or will it become softened and re-shaped like the potato? When the surface temperature rises, I need the calming hands of Christ to stabilize the boiling bubbles beginning to surface in my heart.

My husband was married for a short time years ago. This union produced a son, John, who is now 18 years old. John has been living across the country for all these years and unfortunatley, did not visit often. Recently, life has been reaching back and throwing its best shots at him. He has truly found himself standing in the crossroads of his young and impressionable life. He had begun a slow descent into the shadowy valley of temptation when he called and asked for our help. My husband asked me if John could stay in our home for an undetermined amount of time. He needed direction, a goal and the unconditional love from his Father. Before John arrived, I prayed that God would soften my heart like the boiling water softened the hardness of the googley eyed potato. Not only did God soften my soul but He carved out a special place in my heart just for John.

Okay, now its confession time. When the news of this first broke, I was scared. Scared of what this 18 year old “man,” might bring into our home. Scared of how it would affect my marriage and our children. I felt trapped in between the pressure of honoring my husband and protecting my children. I ran to my secret place (my closet), and fell to my knees. I prayed that my sensitive heart would not be hardened by my fears. Lord, I am yours. I need your merciful hand in mine. Oh, how I desired to show mercy to this child the way that Jesus had shown to me (see Luke 10:37). I realized I would fall flat on my face in a puddle saturated with failure if I tried to do this in my own strength. Jesus, I need you! I need you to fill in the gaps where I am falling short. I believe in your biblical truth that you will, “strengthen those hearts who are fully committed to you,” (see 2 Chron. 16:9). Please help and strengthen mine!

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Christ’s great love for me led him to Calvary’s wooden cross. There he paid the ultimate price so that I might live. My love for others should be of the same kind – a love that goes beyond simple affection to self-sacrificing service. I made the choice to honor God by allowing Him full access to my heart. I looked at this situation as an opportunity to be obedient to my heavenly Father. It was an opportunity for God to be glorified in my weakness. God spoke a very simple truth to my heart, “obey Me and I will take care of the rest.”

Allowing God to work in and through me to welcome John in our home was not the easiest choice but it was God’s perfect plan for John’s life. I could have pitched my own pity party and tied myself together with strings of bitterness and selfishness, but that would not have pleased God. If I make choices to honor God today my feelings will eventually catch up. At first living this way seems harder but in actuality it does the opposite. It makes your attitude more aligned with God’s, thus making it easier to withstand the pressure while floating in your pot of boiling stew. I know that am not perfect but if I consistently call on the One who is, I WILL make a godly impression on those around me.

Last week during my quiet time with God, He impressed on my heart to go buy John a Bible. I instantly remembered that I had a nice Bible tucked away somewhere in my room. I tugged on my bedside drawer and underneath all the toddler books was my old Bible. I dusted off the top and presented the Bible to John. He graciously accepted the gift and has carried it with him every Sunday to church. I believe God’s ultimate plan was to change my heart in His pursuit of Johns.

Lord, when the temperature begins to boil and the pressure mounts, please give me a softened heart that seeks only to please and honor you. I pray that your overflowing water of grace will splash out onto those around me leaving their souls renewed and refreshed. I pray that you will continue to work through me to provide whatever John needs, whether it be just a place to stay, food to eat, a listening ear or simple acceptance.


  1. What a beautiful example of Christ you are to us all Kelli. You gave up your own self, your own feelings and desires for another and that is exactly what Christ would do. I know the blessings are already pouring forth and will continue because of your obedience. You are a “yes” woman indeed my friend! I am beyond blessed to be an up-close witness to your soft and genuine heart which is so clearly in love with our Savior. P.S. Love the egg & the potato 

  2. Now this will probably really bake your noodle, but weren't the egg and potato both changed on the inside???