One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
When we are quoting that verse, let us not forget the last part. Far too often we end it at “love God” and miss the part where it tells us, “to them who are the called according to His purpose.” His purpose.
Some things that have happened to me in life were very bad, somewhat bad, and then we have the absolutely dreadful, as defined by my purpose, or by most any sensible person’s purpose really. At the time I did not understand, I could not see how any good could possibly come from them. Now that my eyes are more mature, I can see through the glass less darkly. Some of those bad things actually served a vital and valuable role in my life, according to His purpose. Some things still remain hidden behind that smoky glass, their purpose yet unknown.
While spiritual maturity may have its privileges, I am bound and determined to age backwards here, so we shall go backwards. Someone far wiser than me equated one’s life as being much like God mixing all the ingredients together and baking a delicious cake.
Separate, alone, none of those ingredients are appealing at all, in fact most of them are rather bitter and unpleasant, baking soda or baking powder for example. Flour. Salt. I remember as a child always wanting to taste Crisco, that creamy, white goodness so appealing for some reason. Of course, once you put some in your mouth it is rather appalling. My kids often wanted to taste vanilla, something that smells so good, but alone it is some tragic mix of rubbing alcohol and shampoo.
I don’t even want to know how they knew exactly what rubbing alcohol and shampoo tasted like, but I took their word for it.
Somewhat amusing, today our recipes say, “mix on high for two minutes,” but before mixers were popular it would say, “beat at least 300 times.” I’m afraid that too is necessary, and really the only proper way to mix the ingredients.
When God is baking the cake, all things work together for good, the flour, the salt, the baking powder, the bitterness of each ingredient alone just waiting to bring out the best in another. That is what lurks within the heart of Romans 8:28. A delicious cake awaits you, if you can just trust in His promise.
Unlike me, God never forgets a single ingredient.