The Oven of God's Testing!

Recently, we've been doing a Bible study in Romans weekly with some friends. It's been really encouraging to see how much we have to be grateful for. Paul really explains the Christian struggle, and them encourages us with the Christian's strength in Christ. This week were studying chapter 8 and I can't wait to see what new insights I'll discover. 

Anyhow, each week, we've been having dinner and desert along with the Bible study, and this week it was my turn to make desert. It seems like since the beginning of the study, we've all been making cakes for desert. So in keeping with tradition, I thought I'd try this Chocolate Cake I saw on my friend's blog. I was a little nervous about trying a new recipe, (especially since the Hummingbird Cake last week turned out so well) but after reading how well it turned out for my friends, I got the courage to give it a try. And turn out it did. I was simply shocked. Not only was the recipe easy to follow, the cake also cooked really quickly, and the frosting was like none I've made before. It was like a dream cake and thanks to Evan's help with the frosting we were all pleased with the results. It will definitely be added to our recipe book. 

Wile I was making the cake, and for a while after that, I was thinking about how our life is like a piece of cake. We start with God's blueprints, the Bible, (like the recipe) but He can see the finished product. Nevertheless we still have to be made, and whipped, and poured into a pan, and cooked at very high temperatures, before we turn out. 

In the process we have countless opportunities for failure. Some of us choose to not read the recipe, and just put the ingredients into the pan, and hope it turns out. Some of us throw out the recipe, and use our own ingredients. Some of us use the right ingredients, and the right measurements, but get the instructions in the wrong order. And some of us ( very few) follow the recipe, and go through the oven of God's testing, and come out like a beautiful cake. It's not because we did the right thing, and used the right ingredients, it's because of the oven of God's testing...for without it we would simply never turn out. 

Sometimes after we've accomplished good things, we try to take the credit, and claim we are responsible for our success. But just like the cake, we would be nothing without the oven. This thought struck me in a very real way, when I realized how often I'm trying to jump out of the oven of God's testing. I don't want to get cooked. I think I'll be ruined by the heat, but in the end God is the only one who can see the finished product, if only we would just have the faith to trust Him in through the fire. For it's only after we've been baked that we can be cooled and frosted with the ornaments of God's grace and a testimony to share with others. 

So next time you feel the "oven of God's testing" being turned on, think of your life like a piece of cake. It has to be baked for the true flavor and texture to come out, it has to be baked for us to eat it, and it has to be baked before it can be frosted with delicious icing that makes it more beautiful than ever before. God is in the business of reconciliation. He's knows that we, (just like the cake) must change our texture before we can be frosted. We must be tried before our true flavors come out. But don't be discouraged by the oven. God is with us through it.  He's holding our hand all the way, and He can see the finished product of our lives, and if we'll just trust Him....I promise you the end will be more beautiful and satisfying than you could ever imagine. 

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him which knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Here's some pictures of the finished cake. I wish you could taste it:)   

2 comments:

  1. Wow Elanee! Thank you for this post. It's so true that I always complain and want to jump out of the oven of God's testing but He and only He knows what is truly best for me. Very thought provoking! :)

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  2. What a convicting but also encouraging post, Elanee! The cake and oven is a great illustration of our walk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has been teaching you with us.
    How blessed we are to have a Father that cares and loves us enough not leave us as we are, but helps us grow and become more like Jesus. Your thoughts brought to my mind several verses from James. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4 "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12
    Thank you for this awesome post!
    Valerie

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