There’s an email forward that has made its way through my inbox a few times recently with a simple illustration that really resonates with me. Understandably so, it has to do with baking.

As the story goes, a young girl is chatting with her Mom who’s baking a cake in the kitchen. She’s complaining and upset about the challenges in her life at the moment…breaking up with her boyfriend, struggling at school, unpleasantries in her friendship circle. Quality teen angst, ya know.

The girl’s mother pauses to ask her if she’d like some cake, and she is quick to say that she most certainly would. The mother then offers her an egg, some cooking oil, some flour, even a taste of baking soda. She is repulsed by the idea of trying any of those ingredients on their own.


Her Mom explains that any of those things might seem bad all by themselves, but if you put them all together the right way, they’ll make a delicious and wonderful cake.


Our lives are in transition at the moment, and the transition is constantly bringing me to a place where I am taking the time to evaluate. The past few years have brought us some high highs and some low lows. And there are some places where I look back and think “I kind of wish it wasn’t like that” or “That was a really hard thing to walk through.”

But already, I am catching glimpses of God’s beautiful plan, and I’m beginning to see that things I thought were challenges have actually been opportunities.

The challenge of tight finances has taught me to be a more creative and a better cook. It has taught me the value of money in a way I never understood it before. It has curbed my previously ravenous materialism. {And, more important, I’ve learned to trust God more fully, day by day.}

The challenge of a season of loneliness has built strength and fortitude into my marriage.

The challenge of being far away from and missing family has caused me to rightly place higher value on family than I ever did before.

In isolation, these challenges seemed like ingredients that would quickly combine to create a bowlful of disappointment, depression, pessimism and even bitterness. But in the hands of an amazing God, I have chocolate chip muffins of hope and ooey-gooey brownies of patience. I have a rich and filling Carrot Cake of faith with peace and joy whipped together as Cream-Cheese-Frosting on top.

It’s amazing to stand back and consider the ingredients He has combined to bring about these beautiful results. It all would have flopped in the hands of a lesser baker.

I encourage you to trust Him during the trials and tribulations, the disappointments and even the disasters you’re facing right now. In God’s mixing bowl, this is the stuff the sweetest gifts in life are made of.


{ Romans 8:28 }