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Psalm 81:1-16 Today's reading includes a promise of God I've been claiming for years: "I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots" (v. 6, KJV).

I am the mother of three sons, and I have spent forty years in the kitchen cooking. If there is such a thing as a cross to bear, I guess this might be one of mine. With four hungry men to satisfy, I often felt that I was one giant feed bag. Saturday was not my favorite day, because I would just get through serving a big breakfast when one of the boys would always ask, "What's for lunch?" I could feel the tingles of resentment crawling up my spine when this was asked, and I always had to pray, "Lord, give me strength."

We had the opportunity to have a Russian exchange student live with us, and I was hoping we would get a girl who could help me in the kitchen. After reviewing several essays written by Russian students, the Lord led us to choose a boy. We got a boy who could eat instead of a girl who could cook. We have had Vladimir with us now for seven years, and he is a bodybuilder who can put away the food. I'm still standing on this promise, but I have yet to be delivered from the pots.

It was only after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden that cooking was necessary. God originally gave only the herb-bearing seed and every tree that yielded fruit as meat in the diet of Adam and Eve. When He killed the beast to cover Adam's and Eve's nakedness, man became meat eaters and cooking became necessary. Mankind received the curse of having to cook. Although this was not spelled out as a curse for Eve, I believe it was. Laboring over a hot stove is not as hard as laboring to have a baby, but it is still labor. Adam also received his curse, which was to toil in the fields when before the fields only needed tending. Weeds now grew, and if they were not pulled, the good seed would be choked and not bear fruit.

Recently I released my bad attitude about cooking to the Lord, and an interesting thing happened. I began to enjoy cooking, and what was a curse to me became a special calling. God always blesses whatever we release to Him, and He can cause our cares and burdens to become blessings.

Is there a burden or something you consider a curse in your life? Do you feel your work is a curse? Today release every care and whatever you feel you are cursed with to the Lord. You will find what seemed to be a curse can become a special calling in your life.

READ: Joshua 5:1-7:15; Luke 15:1-32; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 13:1

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