Ready, willing, available
Published 10:00 am Sunday, November 13, 2022
“They don’t make them like they used to.” How many times have we heard that statement? But that’s the appropriate description of the salad bowl I got as a wedding gift some 55-plus years ago. I was closing out my days as a student/employee at the Ole Miss infirmary. It was a great experience working in the lab and sorting files along with making sweet friends among the nurses and doctors.
They celebrated my engagement with me by giving me a shower on my last day with them. It’s a mystery how our minds work because I can’t remember any specific gift I opened except for the apple salad bowl that the senior doctor gave me. For some reason it has stayed in our kitchen cabinets wherever we’ve lived. If you were to eat salad at our table now, you would almost positively eat from that salad bowl painted in red apples. It’s some kind of lightweight — not exactly plastic but a cousin. Anyway it’s been more than serviceable and still is perfect for what it was designed.
Another go-to item in our kitchen is a set of aluminum measuring cups with handles. They’ve rested in a kitchen cabinet drawer since the wedding day gifts. I have several other measuring cups — various sizes, made from a variety of materials. However the one-cup container is washed more than all the others combined. It’s measurement is accurate; it’s lightweight and easy to pick up with it’s handy handle.
Last week I reached for it and it wasn’t in its usual place in the drawer. I scanned the countertops. Not anywhere. Then I checked the dishwasher. Wasn’t there either. Where could it be? Surely I wouldn’t have put it in the fridge, but I looked! No, I hadn’t been that confused, yet. I went on with my cooking wondering where it could be and wondering where I could go to replace it. It was just a very plain aluminum measuring cup but so convenient for me.
The next day I was baking and stirring and reached under the counter for my flour container. There peeping through the floured glass was my measuring cup. I was elated. Inadvertently when measuring for my last baking episode, I had left it in the container. Just a very old aluminum and very plain measuring cup but very valuable to me.
Sometimes as a Christian I have wanted God to use me in ways I would know, ways that would benefit others, ways when I felt like I wasn’t just “waiting on a shelf.” My apple salad bowl and aluminum measuring cup answered all those questions. God’s not so much interested in our abilities as he is our availability. My bowl and cup are readily available and always meet my needs for what they are designed. They are both lightweight — easy to use without necessary care or fear of my hurting them in use. And they are always ready, just waiting to meet their owner’s specific needs.
I know God is never limited in what or who he needs. However, isn’t it an endearing thought to think He would always have a need for us and for that specific need He would know just where we were — ready, willing and available.
Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.