My husband loves when I bake pound cake. I offered to make him one for his birthday, and it was delicious. A few weeks later, I decided to make another one for Thanksgiving.
I got up early to make sure I had time to add a little extra love to it.
I placed it in the oven and set the timer. Thirty minutes passed and I smelled something burning. I figured there must have been food that had been left behind from the last time I had cooked.
When the timer expired, I opened the oven to see that my masterpiece had bubbled over and burned the bottom of the oven. It was uneven due to the hole where a chunk of cake was missing.
It still tasted good, but I was little disappointed because I had worked so hard to make sure everything was just right.
Christmas rolled around and I tried again.
I made sure to double check all of my measurements to ensure there were no hiccups this time. I daydreamed about the slice of warm cake I would have with a scoop of ice cream. This time, the burning started after about 15 minutes.
I couldn’t believe it. I peeked into the oven to see the cake bubbling over even worse than the first time. My husband walked through the door just in time to see me pull the sunken mess out of the oven. He read the disappointment on my face and offered a pitiful look.
He ate the scraps of cake that survived, and I was grateful for that, but I needed to know why.
Why had my cake fallen?
My mind whirled as I scraped, poked, and prodded at the burned cake at the bottom of the oven. I did everything right? Why does this keep happening? I give up. I am never doing this again. If only I can figure out why this keep happening. If I knew, than I could fix it.
I didn’t sleep well that night. I tossed and turned. The next morning, feelings of doubt and fear shrouded me like a veil. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but you get the picture.
I know this story about a holiday dessert gone wrong seems a bit dramatic, and by all means it should. However, much of what we allow ourselves to stress and worry over is just as trivial in the eyes of God.
When things in our lives go “wrong” by our standards, we fuss and fret over the “why”.
Why has this happened? What have I done? How can I fix it?
The fact is: sometimes cakes fall.
Sometimes we lose everything. Sometimes loved ones leave us much too soon. Sometimes friends betray us. Sometimes our health fails us. Sometimes our spouses abandon us.
Sometimes bad things happen, but God never instructed us to worry about those things.
In fact, He tells to be anxious for nothing. He tells us to have faith in Him. He tells us that we can have peace even in the midst of a chaotic world.
The key to achieving peace is surrendering the idea that God owes us an explanation and just accepting what is.
We can have peace when we understand that regardless of what has happened, all things work for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Maybe these things happen because God wanted to teach you a valuable lesson.
Or maybe He wanted to reveal His glory through your suffering.
Or maybe it had absolutely nothing to do with you at all.
The fact is, knowing the “why” won’t change the fact that it happened. Convincing yourself that knowing will somehow help you heal is just an attempt to have control over a situation you simply do not have control over.
Peace comes in acknowledging that there is someone greater who is in control. Peace is in letting go.
Peace comes in accepting that sometimes cakes fall.
One morning about a week after the cake debacle, a thought came to me. The last time I purchased flour, I bought self-rising in order to make pizza dough. I had overlooked this seemingly minor change.
The self-rising flour plus the baking powder I added had caused the cake to be over leavened. That’s why it had expanded and bubbled out of the pan.
I received my answer, but most often we’ll never know the “why”. And that’s okay.
Because even though the cake was a mess once I pulled it out of the oven, it was still good. And even though your life may look destroyed after this trial or the next, taste and see that Lord is still good.
RELATED ARTICLE: Unapologetically Let Go and Let God
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