What does being on the back burner mean to one made in the image of God? As I view my life with the wide angle scope, taking in the big picture, I see a person placed on the back burner or sidelines of success from a worldly point of view.
As a child, my brother had diabetes, and my father was away in the Navy. That meant my mother gave an extra amount of attention to my brother, and I needed to be put on the back burner until he was old enough to take on some of his own care.
As an adult, my son had allergies and asthma that required a lot of my time staying home with him. Eventually the best solution seemed to be homeschooling. I chose to put my life on the back burner to get him through school. His former weekly doctor appointments and medical treatments dwindled down to only annual checkups.
During the homeschool years, my mother’s health declined, and I helped care for her. She had a fall and eventually ended up in a wheelchair. I felt torn between the demands of homeschooling and care for my mother. Ever heard of a double back burner? i rotated back and forth on that.
Now, as an older adult, I am helping my husband through a difficult stretch with his health. Again I am on the back burner. I recognize that in each situation, except for my first as a child, it has been my choice to help others to a better situation for their lives. I could have chosen to go my own way and leave those in need behind to suffer for lack of consistent care.
Back burners do not produce earthly rewards. But perhaps, God may be cooking up rewards in heaven for those on the slow even heat of the back burner. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Those on back burners follow the lead of Jesus in making less of themselves for the sake of making more of others. They sacrifice their worldly life yearnings and desires for the greater good of enabling others to recognize theirs.
I find this to apply to those who serve in the military and as first responders, to medical personnel who serve in remote communities, to anyone who goes to third world countries to help people to better ways of living, and to those who serve the poor in inner city neighborhoods, Native American reservations, foster care homes, or Appalachia. I have not mentioned all. God knows the back burner people and watches over them in special ways. They experience miracles to encourage them in their work.
Are you a back burner person, or do you know one? As front burner people get greater recognition on earth, do you believe others will receive their rewards in heaven?