That Tears It! (Angel in the Kitchen)


Monday we discussed some things onions have in common with Life experiences and human relationships. Each day we peel back another layer of the “onion” to reveal new mysteries, new opportunities, new lessons. And in our relationships, we again need to peel back the layers that insulate people from people.

Interestingly, living and interacting with people is exactly like cutting into an onion!  The experience will often make you cry! We all know how the pain and disappointments of life and relationships can leave us in tears, but why exactly do onions make us cry? Simple answer: it’s Chemistry!

When you slice an onion, you break the plant cells, releasing Amino acid sulfoxides. No need to remember this, it won’t be on the test. These newly-released amino acids form sulfenic acids, which in turn mix with enzymes in the onion to produce a volatile sulfur compound. As this sulfur compound pervades the kitchen air, it quickly gets into the eyes, where it reacts with the natural moisture to produce a mild solution of … SULFURIC ACID!!! Gaahh!!  No wonder it stings! This is the type of acid found in car batteries (albeit, far less concentrated). Our tears are quickly released to flush out the irritant. They are a natural, God-given mechanism for relieving the burning sensation of onion vapor.

Similarly, our emotional tears help to relieve some of the pain of life’s disappointments. And just as the presence of an irritant signals the eyes to tear, our emotional tears alert God that we need an extra dollop of His grace and comfort.

You see, we have a personal, loving God who deeply cares for us, and He pays close attention when we suffer. No pain, hurt or disappointment goes unnoticed. God takes a full accounting of your emotional stress, that He may comfort you in those moments: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book?” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

The Book of Hebrews describes our Lord, Jesus Christ, as a high priest who can “sympathize with our weaknesses [and our sorrows]” (v4:15) and who makes intercession for us. (v5:5)

If you’re hurting today, seek the Lord in prayer. Cry out to the one whom Isaiah 53:3-4 describes as “despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. …It was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.” (NIV)

Our Heavenly Father hears our cries, just as He heard those of His Son: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears … and He was heard because of His reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7 NIV)

We all have sorrows. We each face trials that bring us pain. We learn from these hard times, and through them we grow closer to God. But God has  also promised to bring an end to our suffering. “…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore….” (Rev 21:4 ESV)

God made us several promises. Claim them! “…You will weep no more. How gracious the LORD will be to you at the sound of your cry! As soon as he hears it, he will answer you.” (Isaiah 30:19 ISV)

“Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.” (Psalm 126:5 NKJV)

“Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV)

Life got you down? Hurting in a relationship? Chopping onions? Cry out to the Lord, “The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV)


A Pleasing Aroma! (Angel in the Kitchen)


As previously discussed, people are drawn to pleasing aromas. The smell of fresh bread baking in the oven will draw friends and family to your kitchen like bees to honey. And know what? There’s one very pleasing fragrance that attracts our Heavenly Father. It’s the irresistible aroma of PRAISE!

When we thank God and exalt Him in our words and music, we are in a sense offering up a sacrifice to Him: “the sacrifice of praise.” (Psalm 50:23; Jeremiah 33:11; Hebrews 13:15) Sacrifices made in Old Testament times gave off a fragrance that God described as “the pleasing aroma of your offering.” (Leviticus 26:31) As such an offering, our praise smells absolutely delicious to our Lord; and it draws Him near to us, the source of the “pleasing aroma”!

Psalm 22:3 teaches us that God “inhabits” or “dwells amid” the praises of His people. When we honor God with our songs of praise and worship, He quickly joins the festivities!

Having God close by is definitely a good thing! Besides, it’s only right that we honor the One who blessed us not only with life, but also with eternal life! “Praise the Lord! How good to sing  praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! (Psalm 147:1 NLT)

But exactly how often should we praise the Lord? “I will praise the Lord at all times [in every situation]. I will constantly speak His praises.” (Psalm 34:1 NLT) King David, the Psalmist, gave us an example of this: “I will praise You seven times a day because all your regulations are just.” (Psalm 119:164 NLT)

What should we praise God for? “…With my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for Me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and … fills my life with good things.” (Psalm 103:1-5 NLT)

Where should we praise God? Wherever we are: at home and in school; on the job and at play — and NOT just in our houses of worship. The definitive answer, however, is “in His presence”; and He’s everywhere! “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise” (Psalm 95:2 ESV)

Under which conditions should we praise God? In what circumstances? Only when things are going our way, right? WRONG!! When we praise God in spite of our situation in life, despite adversity and heartache, we really are making a “sacrifice of praise”! God realizes this, and He finds the aroma of our offering that much sweeter.

“…Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise; the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

Facing a challenge? Struggling through a bad situation? Or are you just hurting today? Praise God anyway — through your pain and tears. Praise directed at God will take the focus off you and your problems and put it on God, the problem solver; the miracle worker; the God of all comfort. And God will join you wherever you are. He’ll sit by your side, work on your behalf, and raise your spirits!