I like to bake, cheesecakes are among my favorites to create, but I also like to make pies. More often, however, I bake cookies. In all my years of baking I’ve had lots of experience to ponder the many ingredients used for baking cookies. Isn’t it funny how having even one ingredient missing can ruin a whole batch? The impact of (real) butter verses margarine? Baking soda, baking powder, salt… cooking time, oven temperature… each have a role to play in making those delicious treats.
Quite probably the most baked cookies in our house are chocolate chip cookies. In my chocolate chip cookie recipe
(which happens to not be mine at all but the “Original Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsel Cookies”) there are 9 ingredients.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels
Here’s the thing that, until this morning, I had never pondered: Out of those 9 ingredients really only 3 are something that tastes good on its own. I would not enjoy a spoonful of flour, definitely not baking soda or salt… don’t try to give me those 2 eggs raw… even vanilla extract doesn’t sound good if eaten by the spoonful… the campers thought taking a bite of butter sounded absolutely gross…
So, that leaves me with the sugar, brown sugar and chocolate chips. Yet, the weird thing is that when you take those 9 ingredients (most of them not being something I’d want to eat on their own) mix them together and bake them, well, you get a delicious cookie.
This seems a good analogy for what Paul meant in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
So many moments of our lives, if we were to just look at a singular moment, would not look like something that God was working to good. Illness, suffering, and hardship are so prevalent in our lives and in the world in which we live. If we focus on those singular instances it sure doesn’t seem like anything good, quite the opposite in fact. And, while I believe that God can work EVEN those moments to good, there are so many things we experience that are not “good”.
But just as the ingredients in the cookie recipe are no good on their own, so too are many instances in our lives. Just like a baker knows that the perfect ingredients in the right quantity, mixed at the right time and baked to perfection at the right temperature for the right time results in a wonderful cookie… so too does our Father know how to “work all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
Will we trust and be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”?
Don’t sample one “ingredient” in your life and presume that nothing good will come. Trust in God. He knows better than we do what “ingredients” to use and how to place them together for our good. Our role is to love him and follow his call.