As we begin this month of November, will you join me in counting our blessings and offering up our thanks to God? For God is so good and His steadfast love endures forever!
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
2 Timothy 1:9 – NIV
It was an odd sight to behold. My freezer drawer was empty, a rare occurrence at my house. Typically, the freezer compartment in my extra refrigerator in the outside storage room is stocked full of baked goods year round. Since I love to bake, but can’t afford to nibble on sweets often, the goodies are tucked safely away in my outside freezer space, providing a handy deterrent to overindulging. It’s just a few steps, but I can usually talk myself out of that cookie if I have to go outside to get it!
Well, I didn’t have to worry about overindulging on that fine Saturday morning. The freezer stood empty. There were no caramel bars or pecan squares, no molasses raisin cookies, no haystacks. Clearly, the baker had been off duty for far too long. It was time to correct this oversight!
Intent on restocking my supplies, I set out to bake two pans of my delicious pecan squares. As I pulled out all the ingredients from my pantry, I noted with dismay that I had no Pam cooking spray to coat the bottom of my glass baking dish. Since I cannot drive myself to the store and my resident chauffeur was not available, I had to improvise.
Pulling out a stick of butter, I coated the bottom of the pan and hoped for the best. I then proceeded with a pleasant little afternoon baking spree. Aware that these bars don’t cut well unless refrigerated sufficiently, I slid both pans in the fridge for the night. Since I needed a few of the bars for an event the next day, I planned to cut them in the morning.
Rising early, I trotted into the kitchen to cut up a few bars and place them on a platter. That’s when I noted my first sign of trouble. The bars were unusually hard to cut, definitely more gooey than usual. With my trusty cookie spatula in hand, I forged ahead to pop the bars out of the pan. But there was no popping. In fact, the pecan crust flipped up, and the shortbread crust stayed put. Digging deep with the spatula, I tried again, but the crust came up in clumps that quickly disintegrated into a pool of crumbs.
With a growing sense of alarm, I tackled the second row of bars, hoping for better results. No luck. Trudging doggedly onward, I moved to row three, muttering aloud my concern. There was no improvement. The whole pan was an absolute mess!
I was totally disgusted. All that time, all that effort, all those ingredients, simply wasted. Nothing to show for an afternoon of baking, and nothing to send on the promised platter.
Here’s my confession. I’m not proud of it. Right there, in my kitchen at 6am on a Sunday morning, I had a little fit. Here in the South, we refer to them as “hissy fits.” For those of you not from the South, suffice it to say, I had a meltdown!
I fumed and fussed, stomping around my kitchen, furious at the mess I had made. Finally, I got a hold of myself and reined in my temper. It was a mess, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I could make more. Life would go on. It was recoverable.
That kitchen disaster makes me think about the messiness of life. You and I are prone to making mistakes. Even with the best of intentions, we make the wrong choice, forget an important step, follow the wrong path. Sometimes we are enticed by sinful desires, but often we just make a poor decision. The next thing you know, we are left with a mess.
When we find ourselves in the middle of a mess, it’s so easy to lose heart, to throw up our hands, to give up in disgust. We beat ourselves up for our poor choices. We unravel in fits of frustration.
We make messes, but God makes miracles. We fail, and God forgives. We stumble, and God picks us up. We give up on ourselves, but God never gives up on us.
No matter what mess we find ourselves in, God’s grace is sufficient. It covers our mistakes, forgives our transgressions. We who are so unworthy are made worthy by the redeeming grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. His love for us never fails. It goes on and on forever.
As I count my blessings on this day, I am so grateful for God’s great grace. I will still make messes. I will still fall short, but God will never leave me nor forsake me. His grace covers my mess. His love makes me whole.
I did recover from my kitchen disaster. After purchasing some Pam cooking spray from the grocery store, I made another batch of pecan squares. They turned out perfect, gliding out of the pan with ease and tasting delicious! Isn’t it amazing how well things work out when we mix the right ingredients with a whole lot of grace?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Ephesians 2:8 – NIV
O Precious Jesus, thank You for Your amazing Grace. It covers our mistakes and restores our right relationship with You. In the midst of our messes, You work miracles, making good come out of the bad. Though we stumble, You are faithful to forgive. O Lord, we are so grateful. Thank You!