James 1:2-4 – Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. (AMP)
My patient husband has doggedly tested (not by cooking — just eating!) the recipes for sixteen cookbooks. Occasionally, he has faltered. After several weeks of casseroles, he mournfully wondered if he would ever see roast beef again. One complicated recipe was totally inedible.
Once he dared to suggest that dates would improve a new muffin recipe. The next day, not thrilled with the criticism, I shoved a large date in the muffin that I packed for his lunch. He endured, I became more patient when criticized, and eventually, each book was published. Then for a short while, our marriage was spared the trauma of new recipes, and he loved the tried and true recipes I prepared.
A muffin recipe is a small thing in the light of the trials and temptations that we face every day. While we might be tempted to falter at some of the troubles that our Master Baker, God, prepares for us, we can take comfort and strength from knowing that His plan is for us to grow in endurance, steadfastness, and patience.
Prayer: Lord, we are too often tempted to look at what is on our plate, when in reality we need to seek Your face. Remind us, Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.