Psalm 130:1-2,5 – From the depths of my despair I call to you, Lord. Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help! I wait eagerly for the Lord's help, and in his word I trust. (GNB)
I love to bake, and almost always, I have something in the oven or cooling on a rack. My two children have therefore grown up stirring and mixing. We try new recipes, and are always looking for special foods to celebrate special occasions. Our latest accomplishment was cupcakes with green icing for St. Patrick's Day (to go along with the pickles, cucumbers and broccoli my children insisted on having for supper!)
My five-year-old daughter understands that to make a recipe work, one needs to add ingredients in specific proportions: for example, two cups flour, two cups sugar, one and a half cups of milk, but only one teaspoon of baking powder. Each ingredient has a purpose, and adds to the whole. The result is greater than that of each individual item.
My three-year-old son, however, just loves to scoop and dump. He would add an entire box of baking powder, if it were left in his reach. And once the milk starts flowing, he doesn't know how or when to stop it. He doesn't yet know that we need only a small amount of some things, and a lot of others. He just wants a full bowl to stir!
Every life is like that. We all have a bit of pain and sorrow along with our joy. But do we just add a teaspoon, or do we add the whole box? Do we dwell on the sorrow, and forget the joy that has been given to us? God gives us many opportunities to grow, to reach out to Him, to love Him. Even in pain He is with us, if only we concentrate on His love, and not on how much pain is left in the box.
Prayer: Forgiving God, You give us many opportunities to know You. Be with us in sorrow, and in joy. In You we will be whole. Amen.