Pastor's wife: 'If we put God on a back burner, when life heats up, we will feel scorched'


I’m a tea lover.  Every morning I brew a delicious concoction of green and black tea to drink throughout the day.  I bring water to a boil and steep tea bags for several minutes for optimum flavor. 

Usually, the sound lets me know it’s getting ready.  I can hear the water molecules bouncing off each other telling me they are heating up. 

This morning, I put the kettle on the back burner and got busy.  I got distracted with other things.  It wasn’t the sound of bubbling H2O that got my attention.  It was the smell, and I knew what it was.  The stench of a boiled-dry pan filled the kitchen.

“Nooooo!” I yelled to myself.  I had done it again.  The pan was not completely ruined but had permanent scorch marks.  I wanted to hide it so no one would know.

When we put things on the back burner, they get overlooked and can be forgotten.  The same thing can happen with our relationship with God.  We get super busy and He is moved to the back burner, where He patiently waits for us to remember Him, His love, His power, His Word.  We’ll get around to Him eventually, we tell ourselves.  Meanwhile, we are off fixing our eyes and hearts on other things. 

We can learn what to do and what not to do from true stories in the Bible.  First Kings 3:5-13 shares the story of Solomon, the newly appointed king.  God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.”  Solomon asked for wisdom and the Lord was pleased.  He had not asked for long life, wealth, or the death of his enemies, so the Lord gave him more wisdom than anyone one earth.  Solomon became renowned for his insight. 

He built a temple for the Lord.

When Solomon had finished building the temple (1 Kings 9), the LORD appeared to him again.  He reminded Solomon to walk in His ways and not to serve other gods. 

Two chapters later, Solomon had put God on a back burner.  He had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  (A busy man.)  His wives led him astray and turned his heart to other gods.  Solomon’s heart was no longer fully devoted to the LORD his God.  Such tragic verses. 

If it can happen to the wisest man on earth, it can happen to us.  What can we do to keep God on a front burner instead of the back? 

  • Make a daily plan to read God’s Word. (Stop putting it off.  Set an alarm.  Tons of apps are available online.)
  • Take time to talk to Him. (Thank Him for what He has already done.  Ask for wisdom, direction, help, strength.  Share your burdens with Him.) 
  • Put a Bible verse in your head and heart. (Say it out loud.  Remember that it is true.  Write it down and carry it with you.  Share it when you have the chance.)

In Psalm 141:8, Solomon’s father, David, wrote, “But my eyes are fixed on You, Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge…” 

If we fix our eyes on the Lord, we will be wise.  If we put God on a back burner, when life heats up, we will feel scorched.  Just like a boiled-dry pan. 

Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at