While baking the other day, I got what I considered to be lukewarm water, as instructed by the recipe. I decided, before adding the yeast, to get out the candy thermometer and see if the water was in the temperature range recommended (110 – 115F, as all of you who use yeast on a regular basis know). To my surprise, the lukewarm water I had taken from the tap wasn’t even close to 110F. It was maybe 80F!
I have a history of making not very good homemade bread. But my daughter really wanted to try a recipe that she had found in a craft book based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series. The final product was to be a lovely loaf of bread in the shape of a sheaf of grain, tied with a braid around the middle. Not wanting to squelch my daughter’s enthusiasm, or interrupt the development of her blossoming culinary skills, I decided to give bread another go. This thought buoyed my hopes: if people were able to bake this bread out on a windswept prairie in a wood stove, surely I should be able to meet with some success in my modern kitchen.
To give the bread the best chance at turning out I decided that I had better make sure that I got the tap water to the correct temperature. So I turned on the water, and put the candy thermometer bulb into the stream. I had to keep pushing the faucet handle farther to the left, but finally, the thermometer measured 113F. When I touched the water with my finger, I was surprised to find how warm it felt. That was not at all what I would have called lukewarm! I found it quite warm – almost hot!
Now, I don’t know exactly what temperature God had in mind when he said that he doesn’t want Christians to be lukewarm in their faith (Revelation 3:16), but I have a feeling that He may have been trying to get my attention with this little baking experience. What I consider to be, “on fire,” may be what He considers lukewarm.
Hmmm, it seems He may want me to step it up a bit. Thankfully, he never asks us to do things that he will not sustain us in. May we all never be spit out!