It’s pretty common knowledge, especially among chefs, that ingredients play a key role in making anything in the kitchen. You probably just squished up your face and said to yourself something like, “Well, it doesn’t take a chef to know that – duh!” You’d be right. In fact, it’s also pretty common knowledge to know that baking soda, when used alone, will not make a cake, neither will an egg, or oil, or flour. I actually hope you have never done or choose to ever do this, but you’ll know exactly what I mean if you spoon up some baking soda in your mouth. Don’t ask me how I know this.
My experience of expertise in this area comes at a critical time in my life where I was learning from my grandmother, the trade secrets in the kitchen. Making homemade brownies was always a treat! But I must add, curiosity really got the goose on this particular day. All the ingredients on the table and ready to assemble, the one that drew my attention far more than any other was the can of Cocoa. Taking on the ideal fragrance of chocolate and appearing in presentation identical to it’s cousin Nestle Quick, I couldn’t resist the temptation to grab the spoon at the first chance I had. Grandma finally went around the corner, just out of site and I moved in for the kill. It was going to be a mouthful of succulent chocolate yum — a concentrated chocolate milk on my tongue and I couldn’t wait for the thrill of this tasteful experience. I grabbed the spoon in my unbelievable fortune, dug it deep within the tin of joy and lifted the spoon to my mouth while subtle waves of chocolate dance through my nose to my brain. And then, like I had just unleashed a scoop of the moon into my mouth, the bitter buds on my palette ached and immediately withdrew what little moisture had gathered under my tongue. Even at the attempt to discard it, it was like someone had just stepped on a powdery mushroom as spores of Cocoa were released into the air. One might think it would depart your mouth as quick as it went in, but like QuickSet concrete, Cocoa turns to a paste that a simple and single glass of water does not dissolve.
I had learned a valuable lesson that day. I am not coo-coo for Cocoa anymore for one, but I mostly learned that all things are not as they appear. Ingredients can seem a bit irrational at times. It just doesn’t make sense that something so nasty can taste so good in the end. Sugar is a sweet, sweet thing — it changes everything!!!
Tonight I was reminded of this principle once again. The more I read about it, the more I became amazed, encouraged and simply in awe of God. In short, God tells us that He is making something very good in each of us. He plans to use all things to conform me into the image of His Son. And I found myself staring at the pages . . . quiet . . . still . . . contemplating this apparent journey. And here is what I began to think: “What? All things? He’s going to take them all? Surely not all of them!! Really?? This one? This? That? And THAT??”
Oh my . . . this feels like a recipe for disaster! And satan would surely like for me to think that in every sense of the term. But that’s not what God has said about me, nor is it how Christ lives through me. Yeah, my sin is like a spoonful of Cocoa — smells good, tastes like powdered poop! But my crappy life experiences mixed with a heart for Jesus baked in His redemptive love and grace is an original recipe indeed!
Thank you Jesus!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
by Mark Cruver