I LOVE bacon. I could eat it with/for every meal. Yet somehow I had never heard of blanched bacon. On a recent trip to the public library I picked up the ever-intimidating Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. As I flipped through the massive cooking “bible” I couldn’t help but stop on the section about bacon! This line stuck with me, “It is always blanched in simmering water to remove its smoky taste. If this were not done, the whole dish would taste of bacon.”
Removing the smoky taste. That got me thinking about something I heard Beth Moore say in her Daniel bible study. She was referring to Daniel 3 when Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the blazing furnace. Remember that? When he called them to come out of the fire, he noted that, “Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”
Beth camped on the fact that we have all walked through fiery trials in our lives, but not all of us reek of smoke. Then she asked if we knew of someone that had been through a tough trial and everyone around them knew just by the overwhelming smell of smoke on their being. Uh, yes. You know-the people that ooze bitterness because of life’s uphill climbs, sticky divorces, failed business attempts, or disappointments.
So I had to ask myself, do I smell smoky? As Julia Child taught, the whole dish would taste of bacon without the blanching to remove the smoky taste. Hmm. Fiery trials aren’t the issue then. The question is, “have I allowed the blanching?” Have I taken the time to heal from disappointments or hurts? So could I have a blanched heart? If I gave my heart time to simmer in the healing hope of Christ, wouldn’t that remove the smoky aroma? It’s a simple concept, really. However, it does require discipline. Not so simple!
I’ve found that it’s easier with hurt to pursue justice or vengeance. Meaning, it comes naturally for me. I don’t have to think about being angry and spewing that anger at every turn. Healing, however, takes work. I have to consciously get the pot out-you know, stop what I’m doing and find the time to be still. Then I have to fill the pot with water-in the case of healing -God’s word. And…assuming that I remain in the posture of submission, I can then simmer in the hope of the completed work on the cross to remove the smoky taste.
I love that Daniel 3:27 mentions that they didn’t even smell of smoke. That’s what I want. I want the hope and protection of Christ to blanch my heart so that even when I walk through the fire, His testimony is far more powerful than my hurt. My life doesn’t have to reek of the fiery trials I’ve faced.
I pray that the aroma of my life is a sweet fragrance before the Lord and others!
“Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like a sweet perfume to him.” Ephesians 5:2