The best made plans…

Go with me a second.  You see this yummy looking recipe on the Internet (for me, it’s usually on Pinterest!)  The directions seem simple enough.  The ingredients are all food stuffs that you recognize.  “Hey, I can do this,” you think.  So, you commit to making this “something.”  Going to the pantry to pick up the items you will need, you discover that you are out of something (in this case, it’s sweetened condensed milk).  “That’s Ok,” your accomplished cook self says, “I’ll just find a substitution on the Internet.”  Off you go, and quickly you find a substitution for the ingredient.

You carefully combine all ingredients and wait patiently for layer one to finish.  The timer goes off, and you are ready to pour layer two on top of the partially baked crust.  “Oh, that looks just beautiful,” you think rather smugly, “this will make a wonderful dessert for later.”  Again, you set your timer for the least amount of time recommended (because remember, you are an accomplished cook and you know what your oven will do).  While the house fills with the aroma of your creation, you go about your other business of the day.

Then, the timer goes off.  You hurry in to see how yummy your creation looks.  You expect it to look something very similar to the tantalizing picture on the Internet.  The oven door opens, and… wait, the top isn’t supposed to look like that.  “No worries,” you think, “I’m sure it will be fine.”  Being the chef you are, you test the dessert to make sure it’s done.  Well, it isn’t.  In fact, the top is very brown but the inside is very wet.  So, you put it back in for a few minutes.  Then, a few minutes more.  And a few minutes more.  Finally, you realize that you have got to get this out of the oven before it turns into something resembling a brick in texture.  “Oh no,” you think, “what am I going to take to the get together tonight?”

Excitement turns to despair as you eye the very dark top of the dessert.  It isn’t a light color with flecks of coconut peeping out, like the Internet picture.  In fact, there isn’t a piece of coconut to be seen from the top.  You decide to leave it alone, and come back to it later…

You come back a few hours later, expecting to need a handsaw to cut pieces from the dish.  BUT, no saw is necessary.  You cut a piece easily, and put it in your mouth.  “It’s not a brick,” you exclaim, “it actually tastes good!”  All is not lost; even though just a few moments before, you were ready to throw it in the trash and stop by the local grocery store for some generic chocolate chip cookies!

How often do we view a situation as hopeless when in reality it’s anything but?  I honestly thought that dessert was trash bound–I didn’t have enough faith in the recipe or my part in it.  How many times have we done something similar with God?  Can you think of a time in your life when you thought God just wasn’t going to show up; when in fact, He was already at work and had it all under control?  Sadly, there have been many times in my life where I tried to “fix” a hopeless situation, only to make it worse.  I wanted the situation fixed “NOW” in my timing.  God’s timing is perfect, and unfortunately for us humans, His timing is not our own.  We are an impatient bunch, aren’t we?  Proverbs 14:29 says, “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” (NIV)  Like my dessert, I wanted everything to be wonderful, satisfying, perfect.  But we don’t get perfect, do we?  We are humans, imperfect, flawed, short-tempered, impatient,… Well, you get the picture.  Our God doesn’t run on our schedule.    He doesn’t always make our lives easy, our children angels, our parents flawless, our desserts scrumptious.   So what if everything doesn’t turn out like you planned?  I believe that God’s ways and plans are better than ours, and He is prepared to give us more, abundantly, than we ever had imagined before or will ever imagine in the future (paraphrase mine, Isaiah 55:8, 2 Corinthians 9:8).  Just because something doesn’t work out like you hoped doesn’t mean God’s not at work.  It just means He’s got something else in mind for you.

Think about my dessert again.  I was all ready to give it up; when in reality, the different “look” that it had actually gave it a deeper taste.  When I let go of my ideas on how things should be , I got to enjoy some mighty tasty nuggets.  What can you let go of today?  What situation are you viewing as hopeless?  How can you just step back, let go of your ideas of how things “should be”, and rest in the safety of God’s promises?  It’s a well-quoted verse, but it finishes our thoughts for today perfectly.  Let the truth of these words soak into your soul, my friend. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

Now, off to cut up some yummy dessert squares for later…  See, God had better plans than I had imagined for the ladies who will indulge in this deliciousness tonight…

The finished product…

IMG_0012

…still yummy!

Want the recipe?  Leave me a comment with your email and I’ll send you a link!

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2 Comments

  1. Jana Fessler

    How true!! Please send me the recipe… thanks!

  2. Betsy Anders

    Love this, Anita!

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