2011-09-20 - Homemade Brownies
Our church's women's group was recently providing food for a family with a hospitalized member, and my role was to fix homemade brownies. They tasted good (I had to sample one, to ensure that they would taste okay to the family!), but they looked - well - homemade! They didn't look `perfect' like bakery Brownies. But as I told Richard, "at least, they will know I made them myself, because they aren't perfect!"
Then the thought occurred to me, how the homemade brownies reminded me of our Christian lives. They aren't perfect, but they are "homemade" by God and us (God's provision and our responses). Sometimes we have lumps and imperfections in our lives whether from our own mistakes, or sometimes events that are out of our control (e.g. tornadoes, illnesses, drunk driver killing a family member, other people's mistakes). No matter how we try, we will never be perfect, nor will our lives this side of Heaven. We lose our temper; we go over the speed limit. We express excess pride; we laugh at a joke that demeans someone (There are comedians who make too much money from this, but that's another story.) We'll always make mistakes that require repentance. We'll always be lumpy, lopsided, imperfect brownies.
Regardless, God can take our lumpy brownie lives, and make beautiful, spiritually nutritious works of art out of them. He can take former alcoholics, and use them to help others stay sober (often via AA). He can take job problems and increase empathy for others with employment issues. Bottom line: He can use us, "as is." If we are open to His work, He can use us and give us a joyful life, no matter what we have done, no matter what we are dealing with - "wherever we are" in our lives.
As Romans 8:28 (NASB) reminds us: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.