A Watched Pot Never Boils

by Deb DeArmond

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

“A watched pot never boils, babe,” I advised my newlywed husband. He continued to stare at the pot filled with still stiff pasta. Silence.

Then, “What kind of pot is it?” he asked.

“A watched pot. You know–it will never boil.”.

“Then why cook the pasta in it?”

We’d received many kitchen items as wedding gifts, including a variety of pots and pans: crockpots, Dutch ovens, frying pans and more. He misunderstood that a “watched” pot was a brand of cookware! I literally meant a pot that’s being watched or observed. Apparently, my mother had a few colloquialisms his didn’t.

The concept is simple: the more closely we watch to ensure something happens, the more it may be delayed.

Life is like that at times. The single surfing the web for the perfect mate. The frustration of waiting for a new job opportunity. The monthly disappointment when trying to conceive. The closer we watch, the longer it seems to take.

But does God want us to agonize while we wait? Jesus told a parable about a farmer who plants seed in Mark 4:26-29. After planting his crop, he doesn’t watch it minute by minute, or dig it up to make sure it’s still there. When his part is done, he rests in the process.

Why is this hard to do? Simple. In our humanness, we like control. For Christians, that’s a problem, of course, because God asks us to trust Him with our lives. That’s His process. It’s sometimes challenging to apply.

My mother was once injured in a devastating accident. Doctors decided there was nothing they could do but wait and see. It was difficult news, but it was easy for us to pray and trust a merciful God. Why was it easy this time? Because there was nothing else we could do. No other efforts were possible.

But when dealing with financial difficulties or concerns about a child’s behavior, it’s easy to take matters into our own hands. Take a second job to deal with the money problems. Read a book by a popular author on childrearing. Searching for solutions is not wrong, unless we are using them to replace turning to God in prayer and trusting Him for answers.

God doesn’t expect us to do nothing in difficult times. He expects us to pray and seek His will. He may lead us to pursue an idea that occurred to us. But He wants to direct the traffic in our lives, trusting the process, trusting Him.

If you want to watch something, forget the pot. Watch God fulfill His word to His children! 

DeArmond-29 copyDeb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb addresses topics related to the family and women. Her books include: Related by Chance, Family by Choice,  I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last and Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Deb’s books help readers whether engaged, newlywed, or long-time married create the life God meant marriage and family to be. You can read more from Deb at Family Matters/Deb DeArmond.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Deb’s book,  I Choose You Today,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What pot are you watching? What’s God asking you to let go of and give Him the control?



33 thoughts on “A Watched Pot Never Boils

  1. I love this Deb, so true! We watch and wring our hands in agony as we wait, but there is so much we can miss in the waiting by not focusing on God’s goodness. Thank you for this beautiful message!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an important reminder for me today. Work has been challenging and I keep watching and waiting …for what, I don’t know! Thanks for reminding me to give it to God, keep it in prayer, do what I can do, and let Him work out the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God’s the best “pot stirrer” – and He’s always aware of the right “recipe” for us at any given time. It’s tough to wait – it’s not my natural gift. Sounds like opportunity!

      Glad you found it helpful for your journey today – God bless.


  3. Oh wow I love that, watch God work, not the pot! I am waiting on God’s working in a loved one’s life and marriage. As you said, I have absolutely no control in the situation, and God has been teaching me to wait and pray.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep thinking that at some point in my life, Shonya, I will have this “waiting” lesson down once and for all. But it’s one I need to remind myself of often. God bless your wait for your loved one. He sees it and hears your prayers. He’s a good, good Father.


  4. I watch and worry. Thanks for the reminder to turn it over to God and let him deal with it in His own time. He is in control and knows the outcome. Depend on God, He can be trusted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julie – my mother used to say that worry is like a rocking chair: it gives us something to do but doesn’t get us anywhere! But I think God uses the wait to our benefit so often, don’t you? I work hard to choose the “wait” over the “worry!” God bless you – and you’re right – He CAN be trusted!


  5. Loved the Devo. I have heard that so many times in my life. My grandma always say a watched pot never boils and now I find myself saying it. What we need to do is leave it in God’s hands and in His time it will boil. Right now we have put in God’s hands a job for my husband he lost in May due to downsizing. Would you pray for this with us? We know God has something he wants us to do. Hoping the pot boils soon. I love your blog also by the way I am following it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana – I will stand in absolute agreement with you! Father, in Jesus name, we come to you knowing in advance you are our provision, and you have a plan for Diana and her husband. We ask you to make that vision plain to this family – so that can run with it! Blessings – please stay in touch and share the praise that will end this chapter for you and your hubs.


  6. Wow this was so good and something I really needed to read. I have been watching and I am still in the learning process but I am turning everything over to God and let him guide my path. Praying and I know God will hear me. He will be my provider through everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura – you are on target! He will hear you and provide for your needs. I’m glad it came at a good time for you. I think for many of us, it’s a lesson we will learn many times in our life! Blessings as you wait for His guidance on this journey.


    1. Susie, bless you in this time. Longing to be elsewhere is a hard road, especially when God provides that opportunity. Lord, I pray for Susie to feel your presence right this minute. She desires to move ahead and is willing to leave that desire for “elsewhere” behind. I ask that you bring her new “framily” friends that become like family in this new place. Bless you sweet friend. Would you stay connected and let me know when you begin to see breakthrough???

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Crystal – that’s a tough one, isn’t it? I watched my husband struggle in his work at one point – it wasn’t what we had hoped for. The disappointment was penetrating – and we, too had to make a choice to give it up and let God sort it out. He did. I always say God’s never late, but He misses a lot of chances to show up early! Gratitude over your husband’s job is the right mindset – and you’ve already come to that conclusion, so run with it. Hard to grumble and be grateful at the same time! Blessings!


  7. This is such good information I read it and think of how many people need to hear this. I need to hear this Thank you


  8. Waiting is a universal challenge – we live in a microwavable society. We expect things on our timeline. I’m not sure it’s a lesson we ever stop needing to be reminded of! So glad you joined us today and found this helpful.


  9. My mother always used to say that when we would cook together in the kitchen. God does wonderful and amazing things whether we are watching or not. We are in the process of buying the home we are renting. It has been a long process as it seems there is always one more hoop to jump.It is Definitively a test for patience but we know that it will all work out for his great good.


    1. Oooh, I have always found finance to be one of my most challenging spaces for waiting on God! But as I look back, He has kept every commitment He made to us in His word! Blessings for abundance!


  10. “Searching for solutions is not wrong, unless we are using them to replace turning to God in prayer and trusting Him for answers.” I loved this! Prayer should always be the first action and sometimes, it’s the only action.


  11. I needed this today. Many of the examples you’ve mentioned are issues I am struggling with this very moment. I just need to breathe and rest.

    What a well-timed reminder that God’s will that will prevail.


  12. What a great way to look at what is required of all of us – waiting. Focusing on the waiting, becoming impatient with waiting, does not help us. Our impatience as we wait for God’s hand in our lives defeats the purpose of having our loving God in our life! He works for us always, there will be an outcome eventually, in His time! Wait and trust in faith! A good reminder for myself! Thank you!


  13. Every devotional that I have read this week, has really stepped on my toes. At this point, I am going to have to soak my feet in Epsom salt water for relief! Lol

    On a more serious note, this is another post that God wanted me to see. He has been more active in my life these days. He is slowly bringing me back in His direction. For this, I am thankful.

    When it comes to patience, and waiting, I am one of the world’s worst. I admit that I impatient and hate to wait.

    I have two jobs – a day job and my own business.

    My first job is retail, in book production. I sort, price, and roll (put products out on the floor) books. I love my job, but … I really hate it when others come to my station and start sorting through the books, and toss a lot in the “As Is” bin. I have to go through that bin and “save” those books. I can get those sold! I have a certain way I organize the stacks on my table, and on the cart. Other times, I get real irritated and angry when other co-workers will not be quiet and say a swear word after every three words, and so forth.

    My second job is my own business. It has been super slow, and I am not in a position to be able to hold parties at my home. Plus, we are a one-vehicle household. So, I run my business on-line. When I hardly make sells, or do not get the response I was hoping for when holding on-line parties or attending on-line vendor events, I get frustrated and want to give up.

    This post is a great reminder that I need to pray to God, tell Him what is on my heart and mind, then let Him do the rest. I need to let go of what is I am praying about, and not dwell on it.

    By the way, I saw your book, “I Choose You Today,” at my day job. I just wish it would have been there during our employee appreciation shopping week, when we can shop at our home store. I will get this book one day. I feel it would definitely have a positive impact on my marriage.


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