Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7
It looked like a chocolate mud puddle…or worse. Well, I am a firm believer that God wires people in different ways. Some people are gifted in music, some in speaking; some are mechanically minded while others are whizzes at math. It is no wonder why the Bible says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made!”
Now if you are a regular Grits reader you know that I am a “foody.” I am blessed to have a wife who can cook very well. As a pastor at a church, one of my favorite things is when we decide to have a potluck. A potluck is when all the families bring a dish or two or three and we all share. At my church, a potluck doesn’t involve luck at all—you know it is good to be good. I guess I appreciate good cooks so much because I am not one. If cooking is a gift, I was in the wrong line when the gifts were distributed. Let me explain.
One day I decided I wanted something sweet to eat. I looked in the pantry and, in the refrigerator, but came up empty handed. I looked in the kitchen cabinets and found several boxed mixes. There were two or three for cakes and one for brownies. As my mind thought of sweet, gooey brownies–it was a done deal. I read the box and found I needed several ingredients–the mix–check; oil–check; water–check and two eggs–uh, no eggs.
I asked Judy what would happen if I skipped the eggs–she simply said— “It won’t work.” She said something about a chemical reaction and the brownies being as flat as a pancake, but my mind had one thought–sweet, gooey brownies. I decided to press forward. In fact, I even added more oil, more water, and some heavy whipping cream just for good measure. After all, doesn’t more make everything better? Who cares if it has nothing to do with brownies?
Well, I put them in the oven and set the timer for about twenty-five minutes. Soon the timer was going off and I opened the door and peeked inside expecting a pan of delicious brownies. What I found was anything but. In fact, it resembled an oil slick…the kind you see when a tanker spills its cargo. It was some sort of goo—I guess a combination of pools of the oil, a black slime in the middle and a hard edge all around. I guess that thing about the chemical reaction was right. Instead of ending up with a nice gooey brownie I ended up with a gooey mess. It turned out that I wasted all those ingredients and twenty-five minutes of electricity.
So, what is the moral of the story? Well, for one there is a reason why there is something called a recipe. Someone smarter than me determined what it takes to make a delicious brownie and they were kind enough to share their wisdom. If the recipe calls for eggs–it needs eggs. I don’t know what the eggs do but I do know it does something important. Someone on the internet suggested you could use Diet Coke instead of eggs. I don’t know if that is true or not and I am not going to try and find out. I’ve learned my lesson. From now on Judy can cook the brownies and I will remain the eater in the family.
Oh, by the way, that following the recipe thing applies to God also. You see, the greatest “cookbook” for a successful and purposeful life is the Bible. It is filled with recipe after recipe for a life that is truly worth living and it all starts with trusting and having faith in God. In the Old Testament part of the Bible, a guy named Jeremiah said, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.” He knew what we need to know…God is reliable.
Oh, and when the Bible says that Jesus is the one essential ingredient to our salvation–it means it. I don’t know if Diet Coke will replace eggs, but I do know nothing can replace Jesus. You can add all the good works you want; add all the church you want and get baptized till you wrinkle but without Jesus—it just won’t work. It is He and He alone that makes salvation possible. All our additions will only make a gooey mess out of salvation. Add the key ingredient and you can’t miss!
Well, for all you brownie lovers out there I hope you learned from my disaster! Just remember, those ingredients are listed and needed for a reason–it won’t work without them. And for each of you who are looking for a full life—one with purpose and peace, don’t forget the key and that is Jesus. Go ahead, ask others and ask Him. You will find He is the real deal. Need a hand in the kitchen of life? Give God a chance. I’ve found that He is always willing and always there. Even when your life looks like a chocolate mud puddle…or worse…you can have the assurance that “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne