I brine a turkey for Thanksgiving. When the bird sits in a salty, savory water bath overnight, it absorbs the flavors of the brine and the chemical composition of the turkey is changed to make it juicier. Delicious, juicy turkey—what’s not to love?
Except when you learn the hard way that all giant brining bags are not created equal, and your bag opens up in the refrigerator, spilling a gallon of brine all over the fridge and the kitchen floor. Which my rock-star husband cleaned up without complaint because he’s just wonderful that way.
Our Thanksgiving turkey was still delicious because the remaining brine did its magic on the bottom half of the turkey, and then I turned it in the morning for a few more hours of brining before roasting it.
That day a godly, wise friend of mine snapped a picture of her Bible open, with 1 Thess. 5:16-18 highlighted (“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”), and posted it to her Facebook with the insightful comment, “I need to ‘brine’ in this truth. I need to soak in it, it needs to change me, make me more tender…”
That is how we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2)—by “brining” in the truth of God’s word. Memorizing it, meditating on it, and being very practical in how we choose to develop a perspective that agrees with what God has revealed.
Recently my husband entered the fray of hostility in the comment section of an online magazine article featuring his role in vetting the science textbooks that the Texas State Board of Education would be voting on adopting. It’s quite the assault to be called ugly names and have one’s intellect and character impugned by people who cannot understand how a scientist can entertain any possibility of the supernatural and still call himself a scientist.
I walked by his computer and found a number of index cards next to his laptop on which he had written several scriptures. Before he put his fingers to the keyboard to respond to commenters, he was reminding himself to focus on the unseen and eternal, not the visible and fleeting, and to choose to speak truth that honors God instead of giving into fear and anger or hurt.
Ray was brining in God’s Word. It blessed me deeply.
Recently, our friends at Igniter Media created a marvelous video about preparing to be with family, which was shown in the worship services at our church. Our pastor said it was his favorite of all the videos they had produced, because it shows how spiritual transformation happens.
This is what brining looks like.
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/sit_and_brine_awhile on Dec. 4, 2013