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One of the best things about fall is the heaping piles of fresh squash and pumpkins. In my younger days when I was a new wife and homemaker I wasn’t exactly sure how to cook either so I would turn to the canned versions. They were good but I always felt like the fresh ones just had to be better. Right? It seemed like a no-brainer . . . All the bright colors, shapes, sizes and cool names. Surely, with all of that going for them they had to be delicious.

I read cookbooks and studied recipes, and the methods of preparing them always seemed complicated, messy and very time consuming. Ignoring that, with high hopes and expectations, I would buy a delicious looking squash or pumpkin only to get it home and discover that it was so big or weird that I could barely cut it open. It never turned out just right.

If we wanted to have one for dinner it seemed like it took such a long time to cook that it was inconvenient. Even though I had friends and relatives telling me just how to prepare them, it wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed, and my expectations were not lining up with my reality. I needed to find a method that would work for me.

Little did I know that my breakthrough was coming! My dad is a great cook and loves kitchen gadgets, so it’s no surprise that he’s the one who purchased me my first Instant Pot. It wasn’t long before I discovered that you can put a wire rack in the bottom of your Instant Pot, add a little water, place a clean pie pumpkin or squash in there, and in minutes, it was soft and ready to eat. And it would turn out perfect every time.

This revolutionized our consumption of cucurbits. I had finally learned a method of cooking them that worked for me and that allowed me to access all the goodness and nutrition that they had to offer. I was thrilled!

My experience with the Instant Pot parallels with what I know we all have experienced at some point in our Christian walk. While on the journey, we look around and see friends and relatives who seem to have incredible relationships with the Lord. Their lives portray peace, joy and fullness. It seems like they have climbed to the top of the big pile of colorful pumpkins and squash and have picked the best one, taken it home, prepared it perfectly (the old fashioned way) and everything is turning out great.

From the outside looking in, it appears that there’s so much goodness that they have tapped into. But, we’re stuck living a plain ole, straight-out-of-the-can experience because we haven’t found the “method” of maintaining a walk with God that works for us.

We can read self-help Christian books or ask those people for their recipe to success, but at the end of the day, the expectations that we have for our lives sadly do not match up with our reality. Don’t get discouraged dear brothers and sisters, a breakthrough is available. There’s no secret ingredient or 5 Steps to Success. There’s only one thing that works and turns out perfect every time, and that is choosing to believe God’s Word and His promises. It sounds rather cliché’ but it’s revolutionary.

Second Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” Jesus is the fulfillment and “Yes” to all of God’s promises. It’s all about Him! When we place our faith in Him and live our lives so that He gets all the glory, then we are able to enjoy all the goodness that He has to offer. Learning to trust in His promises is not instant, but it turns out right every time! May God give us the desire and faith to believe His promises.

Lori Coats

Author: Lori Coats

Lori Coats is a Master Gardener, herbalist and mentor to young women, teaching them to love God and their families through gardening, food preservation and cooking. She’s spent more than 20 years working in Agritourism, horticulture, specialty crops and public gardens and owns My Raggedy Herbs, a teaching garden in Oklahoma.

View more articles by Lori Coats.

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