What Consumes You?

“and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:19 ESV


Teriyaki.  Definitely, teriyaki.


It’s the family’s favorite.


If the chicken doldrums kick in, or the steak is a cheaper cut, I know exactly what to do to the protein to make it all that much better.  The meat becomes transformed and the meal is saved.



Photo: Renae Bowman


You’re asking, “really, a devotional about marinade?”


Most definitely!


I was hit between the eyes with a profound statement by my young adult daughter.


She shared her struggles of a very hard day and event that she just couldn’t understand.


She had been wronged by another.


She had to stop her world for a day and focus on hard-life issues that were swirling all around her.  And none of it was her doing.  She was caught in the jet-wash of others’ choices.


When she finished telling me what occurred and what weighed her down, and what made her mad, she ended with a revealing declaration:

“I marinated in hatred all day long. I was seething.”


The analogy hit me like a brick.


Her words resounded in my soul.


Something gets to us, so we


…marinate in hatred.


…marinate in our problems.


…seethe in the bitterness.


I have done this more times than not.   I admit I get caught up in the swirl of life and end up sitting in the ugliness of it all for much longer than I need to.


I marinate.   I soak in the anger.  I draw in the bitterness and let it change my outlook.


And when I’m there, I feel distraught.  I feel anxious.  I feel awful.


Have you ever experienced any of this?  Does it sound familiar?


But just when we start kicking ourselves, there is Hope.  There’s always Hope!


I thought of something.


Have you ever tried to marinate twice?


I mean have you ever soaked meat in a liquid concoction only to add a different flavor later on?  I’ve tried—the results aren’t that great.  The first flavoring is the dominant. The first flavoring has permeated throughout.  You might get a “hint” of the second flavor, but it turns out to be a waste.


And that is where lesson #2 came in for me from my daughter.


I realized that the hatred she marinated in was the “second” flavoring.


The first…well it was the dominant of the two.  The first was made up of Compassion.  Love.  Understanding.  God!


She certainly spoke of how awful her day was and all of her emotions swirled into one, but then she softened and spoke of how the other person was dealing with their own.  She cared for the others who were involved.  She wondered how they dealt with their pain without thinking of the greatest solution—Jesus.


You see, we’re all marinated one way or the other.  We all sit in baths of influences. The only question is—what is the dominant flavor?










Or what if it could be something else?


What if our daily intake was


–the Truth?






What if we infused into every fiber of our being the Word of God?


How would that look in our lives?


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22


Now that is a great marinade!


So let me ask, what has seeped deep into the fibers of your body and soul?  Which list of flavors above do you draw more from?


The beauty is, right now you can change the dominant flavor if need be. Right now, you can choose what permeates through your pores.  Right now, infusion can take on a whole different look if you let it.  Maybe it’s time to let go of a few things so God can come in.  Maybe it’s time to shift focus from the perils of the world to the splendor of Christ.  Maybe it’s time to be a willing participant in change.


My daughter taught me something very valuable on that day.  She gave me a great example of how we should fill up our soul before life hits, …because most certainly life will hit. There will be tough times.  There will be bad days.  There will be conflict.  But which source will be the dominate?


Just as marinade consumes the whole, our choices will consume us.


We need to choose wisely…choose carefully…choose Christ above all…


…and be transformed.





4 Replies

  1. Chrissy

    Thanks Renae,

    I know for me, that I need to “marinate” starting very early in the day, so that I can get “tender” enough before I have to see people.

    1. LOL Chrissy!! Very good point. I’m with you on that one!
      Thank you for reading and leaving us a note.

  2. I love this Renae! It’s so true! Thanks for the reminder to marinade in God’s word and not the happenings of the world we live in. I think this is why Christians confuse people in times of devastation. They don’t understand how we can see past the sadness, anger or the pain, it’s because we’ve marinated in God’s joy and love and know that He prevails in all circumstances. I honestly couldn’t survive without being marinated in his word. Life would be too overwhelming. I’m so thankful He has given us this strength in Him to live our lives. So happy to hear your daughter has figured that out at a young age. She is a smart girl!

    1. Hi Wendy!
      Boy are you right—“He prevails in all circumstances.” Yes, that is the key to remembering in the difficult times that we all have. I am glad this was a reminder for you–it certainly was for me. And thank you, yes our daughter IS a very smart girl!
      Thank you for stopping by and also for sharing, it means the world to us.

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