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Hamburger Helper

  • Jeremiah 31:15

    This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

    On my way to work this morning, I was in reflection on the Lord. I had gotten up and was foggy minded. When I went to pray on my knees at the side of my bed, the tears just poured out of me and my nose ran like a faucet. I was weeping before the Lord with a heavy heart. I had thought my life as a Christian was going to be so much different from the world. When in fact the discovery has been there are things we suffer that the worldly do too. The land of plenty does not always last for long when the season of drought returns once again. An abundant supply is used up and empty cupboards return like the woman in the shoe. Hope is covered up with silent screams for help. Given the right conversation, tears will pour out of me like a flood waiting for the little boy at the dam to stick his finger in me to hold the water back.

    I have been on the front lines for so long, my armor is dented, held together with dental floss and fishing line, and might knots. You might wonder what “Might Knots” are; they are knots that might not hold.

    I bear in my body many scars, some visible of a time long ago when my life almost came to an end. Most scars are internal. Scars make a difference in your life; they either make you stronger or weaken you to the core. Scars make you who you are today. You can become hard and cynical, mean or bitter, or you can become compassionate and caring towards others who have similar scars as you do.

    In my contemplation on the way to work, I felt like hamburger helper. More the hamburger in the fry pan, all in little tiny pieces. Thus the title to this story. Do you remember hamburger helper? You start with a pound of ground hamburger. Now the meat in the package looks great, all formed to the package. You heat up the pan and put the meat in. Now you have to stand there with a wooden spoon or a device that chops up the meat into fine pieces. Once done you take the meat and drain it on some paper towels to take out the excess fat. Then, you put it back in the pan, now adding pasta, vegetables and a sauce of your choice. Now you have a one pot meal, but guess what, every piece is separate in that meal; nothing is sticking together, well maybe a stray piece of pasta with all its gluten.

    Now to compare, and a deep meaning in the story, let’s talk about meatloaf. My mother made the best meatloaf; it was the same recipe she used to make her famous meat balls for her famous homemade spaghetti. It was the best in the world. You cannot make a meatloaf like you do a pan of hamburger helper, even if you take the meat and put it all by itself in the oven pan it will still crumble. You will not be able to cut it unless you have some secret ingredients to hold this piece of meat together.

    My mother’s meatloaf ingredients included Italian Bread crumbs, eggs, grated parmesan cheese and other spices. These underlined key ingredients are the core ingredients that hold this meatloaf together making slicing a breeze when it is done.

    Is your life crumbling before you like hamburger in a pan? Do you know anyone who is standing on the edge of the cliff looking down into the ravine as the ledge before them begins to crumble? This is where I am standing at this moment in time, but I have to reflect on others who have been and or are in this same place.

    Great men of the Bible have been in this place. A crumbling place. Think about Joseph, a fine son, well loved by his father. Reared to not get his hands dirty. He is the special child, gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. A gift from God himself, but with that gift, he is hated by his brothers. His life changes in one day’s time, sending him into dirty places he was unaccustomed to. Fear grips him, tears fall to the ground as he cries out for help, yet is ignored by his own brothers. Sold to a caravan, chained or roped up I’m sure. Dirty, hungry, tired, confused, disoriented, abandoned, lonely. He spends years in jail accused of raping Pothfers wife. I am sure, although God gave Joseph favor with the keeper of the jail; it was not a jail like today’s jail. Joseph spends years in prison, waiting, wondering, hoping, or does he?

    David, the man after God’s own heart. Called and anointed when he was not even a teen. Then whisked away to King Saul’s palace where he would play the harp for him to sooth a demon swimming in Saul’s head. No more tending to sheep in the quietness of his fields. No more battling with lions, tigers and bears oh my, oh no, his life changed for the worse. Then to be betrayed by Saul, David is sought after to be killed. Finally becoming king as God had promised, only to have eyes for something he should not have had, or should it have happened that way? Adultery, and murder, was heaped upon David’s head, then to lose the child out of that affair. David’s house goes against him; his daughter is raped by his son. Yet through all of this, David is still a man after God’s own heart, and through David’s line, Jesus is born.

    Peter, a lowly fisherman. The man whom Jesus said he would build his house upon the rock. Peter denies he ever knows Jesus. Peter, terrified, alone, engulfed with guilt that he would do such a thing to his master, teacher, friend, God.

    Story after story goes on when one looks in the Bible. But what did all of these men and women have in common? They surely had some crumbling going on in their lives, but what was the glue that held them together? It was the faith in their God. God was at the core of these people and that no matter what they went through, no matter what they felt; God was the breadcrumbs, the eggs and the grated cheese that held them together so they would not totally crumble under the pressure of the heat.

    How in the world did the Israelites make brick without straw? How did they endure the hardships of being slaves? They did not start out that way when Joseph was second in command. The promises of God were held firmly to their core, they had the faith, and they believed they would see the fulfillment of the Lord one day.

    We think we have it tough today, we who have indoor plumbing and washer and dryers. Think back to that time when you had to rough it out with everything (last power outage maybe). Living in a tent, when you moved, you had to take the tent down and pack up all that you had. No U-Haul trucks for them. They moved frequently back then, if a river or brook dried up, they had to move. Meals had to be caught, killed and prepared. Babies were born in a tent with all that dust and sand that abounded.

    A friend of mine wrote me the other day. She had a son with Spina Bifida, very crippling. He is now in his 40s.My friend had been a part of the Spina Bifida group and become friends with others that had shared the same experiences. She said one of the families she was close to just lost their 37 year old son. He had been dealing with Spina Bifida all his life. He passed in his sleep. The parents unsaved. I do not know how the Lord works with those who do not comprehend so for the sake of this writing, let’s say he has gone on to be with the Lord. My friend asked me to pray for these parents and for their salvation. What happens sometimes in these circumstances, the parents will blame God, not seek HIM out. Now my friend, who has the son with Spina Bifida, he is saved. Death, when it comes will be sad, yet happy, happy in that their son is no longer suffering, and happy that they will see him again, and at that time will be able to see their son running and playing, something he could not do in this life. My friend has the Lord at her core; she can handle whatever comes her way because her hope is in HIM. And you know, my friend will be the best one to minister to this family, she can sooth the situation because she knows.

    God gives us so many chances to minister to others because we have him living inside of us.

    On my desk, I have a cut out to a devotional, God speaks to me in this and I cut it out and taped it up. It says;

    Take heart, I know it’s tough right now but let me encourage you to keep moving forward. The desert will come to an end. Your day is coming. You too will see HIS goodness in the land of the living!


    I was very encouraged by it when I read it, but when I read it now, I see the date, June 27th, 2011. Almost four years ago now. As time has passed, the words are still encouraging, but they have lost their hold. I know Sarah heard the promise, laughed, and then gave birth at 99 years old. It’s hard to hang on to the hope you once had. It held you together when you read it, or heard it, but the hold is not as tight as it used to be and discouragement sets in.

    One struggle after another has hit my life since January this year. I am crumbling before the Lord today, crying at HIS feet clinging to the HOPE I have in HIM that things will get better. That HE has a plan for this stage of my life. He is the only one who can change things. He gave HIS life for me, and I gave HIM my heart. I have come too far on this journey to give up. If I did not have HIM at my core, I would have given up on life long ago. HE is the main ingredient that holds me together. How about you? Do you have Him at your core? If all you need is a mustard seed of faith, then you only need some eggs, bread crumbs and some grated cheese to keep you held together on this journey. 

    Job 13:15 a

    Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

    By God & Leslie

    April 30, 2015 

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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you for the post!
May 3, 2015
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea You are very welcome Lissy. Thank you for reading it.
May 4, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd You poured a lot into that Leslie. Walking with God has certainly not been easy, but it is sooo worth it. Better days are coming (f).
May 7, 2015
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea Thank you Pastor Dion. I have not written as often as I would like. I was using my spare moments to write at work , I sit in the middle of the building. But in one of my reviews, my manager asked me if I was writing a book. I said no why, he said I see you typing quite a bit. I told him I was writing stories. When I got this position, they told me if I was out of something to do I could read a book, I told him I was not comfortable with that so I started writing. Anyway, knowing he was looking over my shoulder has stopped me from writing in my free time at work. It saddens me so because writing for the Lord brings me great joy.
May 8, 2015