Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spiritual Pick-Up Sunday~Trials and God's Recipe for Us

Last week one of the other youth leaders at church told me about the lesson she taught to her girls.  I'm sure I won't get it all right, but it goes something like this:

A girl is frustrated and goes to her mom in the kitchen and asks for a sweet treat.  The mom, in return hands her a box of baking soda.  The girl gets a scowl on her face and comments on how that's not a dessert.  The mom then hands her a package of flour, and then salt.  The girl is still unimpressed by her mother's helpfulness.  The mother lays out a few more ingredients...sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla... and tells her daughter about God's recipe for us.  Like I mentioned in last week's post, I believe we are here on earth to learn, grow, and be happy.  Of course we need opposition in all things as well-without the hard times, we don't appreciate the good.  And without struggle, we don't learn and grow.  Trees that grow up in strong winds have the deepest roots, diamonds go through immense pressure and heat, and waiting. 

And so it is, that God has a recipe for each of us.  We don't get to see the recipe, but he hands us trials (ingredients), as he knows will work best, to make a perfectly well rounded dessert in the end.  Once we come to see our trials, and appreciate them for what they are-ingredients to make us better, we can put things in better perspective. 

I was talking about this concept with my husband and took the analogy a littler further.  Each recipe is unique, as are we, as are our trials.  I might have to experience the raisins of struggling with infertility and the oatmeal of struggling with obesity to make a wonderful oatmeal raisin cookie, while a peanut butter cookie will never have to endure that or understand the struggle.  On the same token, I have never experienced the chocolate chip cookie's struggle-chocolate chips of being born with a physical handicap, or the snickerdoodle's struggle-the cinnamon of growing up in an impoverished 3rd world country.  Sometimes I may look at the no-bake cookies and think of how easy they have it, not having to deal with the all-purpose flour of depression I deal with.  But I don't understand how the baking process that I and so many others go through is different than the boiling process they do.  Is the boiling abuse?  Abandonment?  Never knowing a loving family? 

I know as I write this that I'm really preaching to myself...I know we need to appreciate what our trials do for us.  I know that I am a strong woman in several ways due to the trials I have experienced.  I also need to remember to be considerate of others in their struggles, because they are just as real.  And a beautiful thing is that you might have an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe similar to mine, but it has slightly less raisins, or more sugar...but we share something in common.  We're not alone.

And I can say with 100% surety that never, NEVER, has God written arsenic on someone's recipe.  He will never give us more than we can handle.  All things are for our good.  We can take that bag of flour he hands us and throw a fit that it wasn't a cookie by tossing it on the ground and smashing it-covering the room in it.  Or we can take a moment to measure it out, mix it into our list of ingredients, and look into how it makes part of the whole we can become.  Sometimes I still accept those ingredients with a scowl and a whine, I'm not perfect.  But I know that He is the master baker, and He knows what He's doing.

1 comment:

  1. I love you Jennifer. So glad you are part of our family.