Monday, May 30, 2011
HOW NOT TO BAKE A CAKE
One year, our oldest son Aaron decided to bake and enter a cake. Of course, it was a complicated recipe which he had never tried before. He worked on it diligently and popped it into the oven. To our horror, the cake pans began to overflow as they baked in the oven. I couldn't imagine what had happened. I asked him if he had followed the recipe and he agreed that he had.
Well, we knew we couldn't take that cake! So, I took the baked remnants out of the oven thinking that maybe the cake pans were too small. I thought I would just take a taste though. I could not see throwing out a cake our family might eat. I took a big bite and was instantly gagged by the amount of baking soda I had just consumed!
Once again, I asked him how much he had used. Well, instead of 1 teaspoon, he had used about 1/2 a cup of baking soda. No wonder it overflowed like a volcano. The next time around, in re-making this batter, he made certain of the measurements of all the ingredients.
We learned some valuable lessons in this whole experience and they are similar to what I learned in counseling some years ago.
First, we have to face or confront the problems we have. We cannot run from the realities of living in a fallen world. People will hurt us and disappoint us time and again. We can either acknowledge the problem or we can stick our head in the sand, but the latter solution does not lead to any change. The Apostle Paul had to face a reality in his life which he referred to as a "thorn in the flesh". 2 Corinthians 12:7 reads: "And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me - to keep me from exalting myself!" Paul could have made excuses for his situation but instead, he recognized this "thorn" in his life.
Another example of acknowledgement comes from King David when his sin with Bathsheba was uncovered (2 Samuel 12:13). He admitted his guilt when the Prophet Nathan confronted him and this was the first step in healing.
Secondly, we have to come to a place of acceptance. Paul knew that he had a "thorn" in the flesh, but he came to accept what the Lord had spoken to him concerning this. His response in 2 Corinthians 12:9b was: "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
In the case of King David, he came to accept what the Lord's punishment would be for his sin. Losing the baby that he and Bathsheba had conceived was painful, but he knew that the Lord was just in His dealings (2 Samuel 12:19-23).
Finally, the last thing we must do in dealing with difficulties is to adjust. In the case of our poor cake, we threw out the old one and made a new batch being careful to watch our ingredient measurements! For the Apostle Paul, he chose to go on serving God with joy and gladness knowing that the Lord was Sovereign over all things. 2 Corinthians 12:10 reads: "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
How did King David adjust? All you have to do is read Psalm 32 to see what he had learned through facing, accepting and adjusting to this situation in his life.
For ourselves, we may have to make some lifestyle changes, deal with our outlook on life or enter into counseling. Whatever is necessary in order to make a healthy adjustment, we must seek God's wisdom and do it.
When faced with bad news, broken relationships, health problems or any other difficulty, we need to follow these three steps in order to keep a healthy perspective. We can either dig a hole and feel sorry for ourselves or take the hand of our God and walk on. Life is not over till its over! Satan wants us to focus on the problem, but God wants us to "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" not stay there.
Aaron's second cake took a second place ribbon that year at our Country Fair. We learned a lot and still chuckle over the cake that overflowed in the oven. If your life is overflowing right now, talk to the Lord who can help you face, accept and adjust to whatever it is you are facing. He can make you laugh again. Selah!
How do you deal with the crises you face in life? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment here.