I’m explaining to my daughters why I have to sear the meat before I cook it in the oven or crockpot. “It seals in the juices,” I say. “The delicious juice will try to escape but can’t; the seared edges will drive the juice back toward the center of the meat and keep it so tender. Some people think this doesn’t work and the juice escapes, but every time I sear the meat, it changes something inside of it. It’s better and more flavorful. Anyway, I like to think that the juices are locked in, even though some people debate about it.”
I find tears in my eyes. Yes, I’m crying over meat. It’s because I see it so clearly. All the difficult days, the hard mornings, the sickness, the disappointment, the rejection, or the loss was a searing that drove me into my own soul. The edges of my life were charred to keep me going back to that center where Jesus is. It’s the only way to keep me tender and in step with the Holy Spirit.
I recalled the day I crushed the stem of the lilac and sliced decisive, deep cuts into that strong bark. It was the only way the lilac could get to the lifesaving water; it was the cutting and crushing that saved her.
I recalled how I’ve asked so many people what drives them to Jesus and keeps them centered on Him. What is it that drives them back towards their own soul and the indwelling Christ? Sometimes, it’s beauty and God’s grandeur in nature, but more often than not, it’s suffering. It’s hardship. It’s weakness, loss, and rejection.
This is the searing that saves us.
In the words of my friend’s daughter: “Everything is a blessing. Because if it’s a bad thing, it makes you depend on Jesus more.” Everything can be a blessing if we see it this way.