As a continuation of the last post...
When I was a child, my mother used to make biscuits from scratch every morning. She would take real flour and sift it into a pile that looked like a little snow covered mountain. Then she would take two fingers and fashion a little cavern at the top. Lard (yes, animal fat), milk (buttermilk on special occasions), salt, and a generous portion of love were all thrown into the flour volcano, each element unmeasured, but always in the right amounts and at the right time.
Following this, Mom would work the dough together with her hands (she never used a spoon). Then she rolled out the dough and cut it into these huge round "cat-head" biscuits. Subjecting the dough to the crucible of the oven created the best biscuits ever!
Today's subject is: Working Together
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. Romans 8:28 (NASV)
As long as I live, I'll never forget watching my mother work the dough together with her hands. After the ingredients were added, she'd run her palms through some flour to keep the dough from sticking to her, then she would carefully press, squeeze, and fold the mixture until it was just the right consistency. Then she would force it into a new shape, cut it into discs, or just use her hands to fashion the dough into tiny pieces of heaven.
God does the same thing with us. When you think of the ingredients of biscuits, separately they are truly distasteful. Nobody gets hungry at 10pm and thinks to themselves, "I need some flour...if I just had a little lard, I could make it until breakfast...maybe some baking powder will hit the spot."
Like the ingredients of biscuits, we have individual events in our lives that are distasteful and undesirable on their own. It may be a rebellious child, an unexpected illness, an unfaithful partner, a disloyal friend.
But for some reason, those events shape who we are and in unexpected ways God's hand appears in our lives and works these events together, just like mom worked her dough. He sifts our experiences, folds our heartaches, presses and kneads our shortcomings and disappointments, and like sweet milk, He adds the joys of our lives into the mixture and creates a life that is abundant in Him.
Also, just as Mom never measured her ingredients and just seemed to know the right amounts of everything, God also knows just how much of each difficulty we need and can endure. Not only this, but He also knows when to add sweetness into our existence to keep us from becoming hardened by our circumstances.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)
The key is submitting to the "working together." The last part of verse 28 is specific that the blessing of God's providence is reserved for those who love Him and are obedient to his call. -JD