When preparing to bake a cake, I do not know about you, but I usually think about the final product. The cake on the platter with the sweetest butter cream icing ready for my silver sparkling fork to indulge itself in this delicacy. I do not tend to think of the eggs that go in there or the baking powder or the pinch of salt or even the oil. Thinking of eating that on its own is not what stirs my hunger, but oh, the cake picture – now, that gets this girl smiling.
I wonder in life if we can get excited about the cake of our lives, you know the end product? When we think about the end product and the work, effort, sweat and tears that it takes to arrive there, how come we often would rather just dream about it? Unlike the cake, we crave the taste of something sweet so greatly that we easily go to the market and buy our supplies, quickly mix it together, prep for the oven, bake, slather with icing and dive right into it. Yet, when we start looking at the ingredients needed to make our final product, well, it just seems way over taxing and biting off more than we can chew… we just do not get excited about diving into it.
Let me challenge you today with these thoughts….
Our ingredients are our life choices. Sometimes they are pleasant, sometimes they are not. We can not focus on one ingredient and forget the other nor can we consume each ingredient separately and expect to have a final product. Example: If I ate each ingredient of a cake recipe individually I would not build a cake in my stomach. There is an order and process that has to occur with all the ingredients before the cake is produced. The same thing goes in our lives. We cannot get to where we are suppose to go without all the ingredients being put into the bowl and mixed together – circumstances, choices, successes and failures.
Ingredients can be sweet, salty, sour or bitter separately, but together they can make a girl smile and boy hungry! Life ingredients from successes, failures, birth and death all go into the bowl, so to speak. I cannot explain why bad things happen to good people. I cannot explain why you did not get the promotion or your idea failed. I cannot explain how you were the one chosen to receive the inheritance or why you were gifted with the ability to discern. I really cannot explain any of it, but I can tell you this: God has an intended purpose with each and every aspect of our lives. We would not go out and shop for bitter and sour things, so he allows them to come into our lives to help add the necessary ingredients to shape us and prepare us for the final product.
If we would take our life experiences and categorize them: SWEET, SOUR, SALTY, BITTER and then remove the ones we did not like, I would ask this question, “Would you still be who you are today?” If I chose to bake a cake and did not add the oil, would the cake be the cake it was suppose to be? The answer is no. We cannot eliminate one thing from our lives that has happened, each of them adds to the person God is shaping us to be.
I recently watched the sequel of the movie, “Cars.” Before we went to see Cars 2, the family watched Cars again. I was reminded throughout the first movie how McQueen who slipped out of the big Mac truck and was left in a town to have to rebuild a road would not have been the same McQueen who helped “The King” in the last lap of the big race. McQueen being lost in a town of strangers having to clean up a mess he had made was the best thing that could have happened to him, although while going through it he grumbled, complained and looked for an escape. However, at the end of the movie, that experience changed him and he was different. His character was changed from the prideful car to the car who cared more about others than himself. He did not choose this experience. He did not like the experience. However, during the last race he reflected on the experience and then he realized how important it was to who he became.
Our lives are like McQueen. We go through some tough stuff. We experience some great things. Each of those are an ingredient to helping us become the person who God created us to be for a divine purpose. Even after mixing the cake ingredients, there is one more step. You have to put the cake in the hot oven so it can bind and mold into the cake. If you do not put the cake into the oven, you will not be able to add the icing and enjoy the true delicacy of how the cake was intended to be eaten.
Sometimes we have to be put under some heat, so that all the experiences that we have endured (both positive and negative) can allow us to become the person God knitted together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He has a plan and a purpose for each event in our lives. Let us embrace them, not resent them. I want to be who God has called me to be and not fall short of the final product. At the end of my life, I want to think that my life was a sweet delicacy. Thank you Jesus for all that I have and will endure, so that I became the gal you intend me to be. I may not think that while I am going through it, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Lord stir my hunger for you, so I may crave you. Lord stir my desire for your will, so my thirst will be quenched. Let me “taste and see that you are good” (Psalm 34:8) no matter the circumstance.
“And we all know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Philippians 8:28