I would expect that many of us are feeling a little “sour” at the moment as we face another week of Coronavirus confinement. One of the things, however, that has lessened the “sourness” for me and actually “sweetened” the experience is the lovely amount of time I have had to create some yummy meals. Here’s one that I think you’ll really enjoy. It’s easy to make and for those of you who aren’t sauerkraut lovers, this recipe really lessens the sourness by first draining and rinsing the kraut, and then adding brown sugar to the mix!
Smoked Sausage, Sauerkraut and Apples
1-1/2 lbs smoked sausage
32 oz rinsed and drained sauerkraut
2 peeled and chopped Jonathan or Honeycrisp apples
1 small bunch of green onions, chopped
4 tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark)
Brown the sausage in a skillet and then cut into 1″ pieces. Layer 1/3 of the rinsed and drained sauerkraut in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ ovenproof dish. Add 1/2 of the chopped green onion, 1/2 of the peeled and chopped apples, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Layer all again in the same order and then sprinkle the remaining sauerkraut over the top. Cover and warm in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Serve over mashed taters!
In the midst of the “sourness” of our current situation, there is a “sweetness” that can bring us strength, peace, and yes … even joy! As we face chaos and uncertainty, the Lord reminds us He is always “ahead of the game” in every one of our situations. Revelation 1:8 says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.”
Think about that! The One who created us, our loving Heavenly Father, is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. And He is already there in our tomorrows and He knows exactly what we’re going to be facing before we even get there. Who better to be there before we even arrive? Psalm 46:1-3 says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
In Habakkuk 3:17-19, it says: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.” Habakkuk’s vision ended with a beautiful word picture: No matter what happens, I will find joy in the Lord, and he will make me as surefooted as a deer.
And so Matthew 6:34 makes perfect sense when it says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself”, and Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”, and Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 6:9 speaks well to the trials that we face where it says: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an unspeakable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
And so my prayer for you and me is this:
Heavenly Father, we love you and praise your name above all names. Lord, we’re facing some trying times right now, things we don’t understand and uncertainty about what’s ahead. Please surround us with your presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to stand in strength and peace. We ask for patience and courage to wait upon you with faith and trust. We want to see through spiritual eyes full of faith in the face of all these trials and troubles. Lord, let us see your truth of what lays beyond these troubles. Let us keep our minds and hearts focused upon you and Heaven to come. We love you Lord and give you all the glory. And we ask all these things in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
— Cheri Henderson