Cream To Butter

March 21, 2021
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Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (ESV)

A few days ago, I had an overpowering desire for a glass of eggnog. Just thinking about the rich, creamy mixture with a hint of nutmeg thrilled my senses. My husband won't drink it, but he searched the local grocery stores for several days — to no avail, because the drink is seasonal, not in the season of Lent. Remembering that my grandmother made hers from a recipe, I found one, and he bought a pint of cream. When he discovered that I would use raw eggs, he was against the idea, because these days, we are cautioned about salmonella. In my disappointment, I knew that it was unrealistic for me to use a pint of cream for myself, so I set out to find a use for it.

Taking a suggestion from a friend, I decided to make butter. We took turns shaking the lidded pint jar of cream, watching the substance slowly change form. As we worked, my heart also began to change. I was no longer disappointed. Watching my smiling family spread butter over homemade rolls was a great blessing. Seeing them enjoy my small sacrifice of love for them was far greater than enjoying my drink, alone.

To make butter from cream, to give up eggnog for butter, seems small in comparison to the eternal sacrifice of His life that Jesus made for the forgiveness of our sin. And yet, according to today's verse, God is pleased by even the smallest of self-giving in the interest of others.

Many times, as parents, we give up a want or need as we buy our children food, school supplies, clothes, or shoes, or pay the rent and utilities. Do you remember times when your hesitance to give up something that you really wanted turned into a blessing of joy of giving to God, as you worked through the challenge? When we believe that all things are from God, it is easy to give to or help others, because we have developed the mindset that it is good to trade self-centred desires into blessings for others.

Our world is in turmoil because of forces beyond our control, but not beyond God's plan for it. Always, and particularly now during this season of Lent, let's serve others through our temporal gifts of time and possessions, so that we better understand holy giving instead of serving ourselves. There are many in need, while many of us have more than we need. Let's give from the abundance that God has provided to us.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank You that small sacrifices of things that mean so much to us can be turned to joy when we give them up to You by way of giving to others. Jesus gave a holy sacrifice of His life, while You value even the smallest offering from us done in love, through our love for Him. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Karen. Good words.


    Thank you, Karen, for sharing these timely words of reminder. Blessings.


    A great message. Even the smallest item is sometimes the most important to someone’s feeling full and great full.


    Hello Karen,
    Thank you for another inspiring message. It is so timely and appreciated!
    (Canada)


    Hello Karen
    Thank you for sharing your situation of having to give up a desire for eggnog for homemade butter. It is so true that giving up the smallest of our desires can give much joy not only to someone else but to ourselves too. We can feel good when we know we are doing things that please our Lord. Blessings for your writings.


    Hello Karen,
    Your story brought back memories of when I taught nursery school. The wonder in the eyes of the children when the cream turned to butter was thrilling to those of us who were the teachers. Thank you for that memory and the lesson you shared about the egg not/butter.
    (Texas)


    Hi Karen,
    I think your devotional today is a very good explanation of the value of giving something up for Lent. Unless there is that second piece (serving others) not eating chocolate, or whatever is ‘given up’ really doesn’t mean much. And YUCK to raw eggs! Thanks for this devotional.
    God bless you as you continue to write.


    Dear Karen,
    What a beautiful story of love and sharing. At this time, God does have a plan, but it is hard for us to see. Your suggestion of helping others at this time can be seen here with all the outreach that is going on. Our TV station does a Toronto together story each night which depicts so many people from all walks of life reaching out to help others with time, food, money, love, etc. It is inspiring and shows that in very unusual circumstances God is there for us. It brightens my day when I see this outpouring and helps me remember to do my small part also. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. May you have a blessed day.


    Good morning Karen,
    A very good devotional this morning. We would love to give our time, as we used to, at the local Long Term Care Centre, but alas we are not allowed, not yet anyway. We try to help other in different ways.
    In this part of Ontario, in the 1950’s most of the dairy farmers had a cream separator into which the milk was poured and the cream separated. The cream was put in cans and sold to the creamery where they sold it and also made butter to be sold. The farmers used some of the skimmed milk for their own use and fed it to the hogs or calves. I’m sure you knew all that. Most of them had Jersey cattle which produced the most cream. Oh, the good old days!
    Blessings.


    Good thought, the butter. Used to make it with my kindergarten class each year!
    Thanks Karen!


    I have often wanted something, and it doesn’t happen, then God leads me in a difference direction. I still get disappointed. But oh, the great feeling when something better comes about.
    Thanks for sharing.


    Thanks for sharing Karen.
    Lovely piece.
    God bless you and yours in Jesus’ name.


    Appreciate your life story application today, Karen. Thank you.

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