Ok, so if you read this and you also follow me on fb, you know that last night I attempted to bake a loaf of whole wheat bread. You would also know that when I got the dough out of the bread mixer [just like the instructions stated!!], I thought I had failed miserably.
Even though I knew it didn't look right, I tried following the next part of the recipe: kneading, molding, and shaping.
have you ever tried to knead, mold, or shape gooey dough? FYI for those of you that haven't - it doesn't work. In fact it is SUCH a major fail that it sticks to everything its NOT supposed to stick to: your hands, your clothes, the counter top it falls on, the mixing device. And it does not come off except when you stick it under hot water and add some soap.
Obviously I had failed. Right? Well, I decided to give it one last-ditch effort. It was already 1 am- what else could go wrong? I stuck it into a loaf pan we have, then into the oven for 30 minutes. Those minutes were endless- I wanted to open the oven door and see what was going on, see if I had failed, or if maybe, just some how it was going to be alright. But I was afraid of messing it up even more, the yeast completely caving in the bread, seeing that I had truly failed, etc. Thirty minutes later:
I couldn't believe it! Even though it was obviously wrong when I put it in the oven, @ some point that clumpy, annoying, sticky-to-everything-but-itself dough had turned into a gorgeous [and yummy!] loaf of healthy bread! Sure, some of the issues from earlier were still a problem: there was supposed to be enough dough for 2 large, shaped loafs- I only had one loaf that I had to stick in a container so it wouldn't fall apart. It had obviously not risen to its full potential. I still have no idea what I did wrong. Experts could easily critique its crumbs, its density, its porousness. But I knew that it was exactly what I had wanted it to be.
Do you ever realize that this is so similar to how God molds us? He, obviously being the perfect Creator [this isn't like me, so just pretend for a minute], did everything exactly perfect. He made us perfect: in His image, we are His highest creation! and then Satan [yes, I am comparing the bread machine to Satan. just stay with me.] comes in to the picture; in fact, God has PLANNED for him to come into the picture. [this is where the analogy between me and God TOTALLY disappears. I did NOT plan for my bread to get messed up. I DID borrow the bread machine though....] And Satan opens up an opportunity, given to him by God, to mess up God's creation, and we fall for it! [in the figurative sense for us, in the literal sense for my bread.] So, from what happened in the garden of Eden, from that situation, we are all affected. just like my bread was completely effected. And God hasn't just been sitting on the sidelines. He had told us what to do in the Garden. He had put everything we needed right there. But because we had the choice, we had evil in our hearts.
So now what? Well, obviously God didn't give up. In fact, so unlike my situation with the glumpy dough [yes I made up the word. no, its not in the dictionary.], God knew exactly what to do. He sent His only Son to die on the cross for His people! He didn't lose a single part or person of those that He loved since the beginning of time. Not one. Think John 3:16 with me here.
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
shall not die, but have everlasting life.
And it gets even better. God doesn't just allow His people to be loved by Him. NO! He shows them, by redeeming them from this world and its people, by loving us so that we can love Him. and out of that love flows everything good about us.
AND, just like my bread, though we aren't the best by the world's standards- we aren't perfect, not gorgeous or in the perfect shape or have the world's highest IQ or be the most talented people- God has given us just the right tools we need to be the best Christian, the best God-lover-and-adorer, the most Christ like. and He hasn't just given us the tools, but He is molding and shaping us every single step of the way. And @ times we are going to have hard trials; we will go through hot times; God disciplines those that He loves! But He never puts us through more than we can bear.
God worked on both the bread and me last night: I was so impatient, wanting to check every 2 minutes. But God's timing was perfect. If I had looked too soon, the bread would have ruined. If I had kept it in too late, it would have burned. But God knew the perfect timing, and when @ last the timer went off and I checked: voila, it was good :)