Ingredients of Life
by Katie Foth on 02/18/20
I was thinking this morning about the people who have shaped my life, whom God used to form my character, build skills, and encourage my accomplishments. Much like a loaf of bread, I suppose, like the 100% whole wheat loaf I made last week:
Now, my family members (who know me best) know that while I am a halfway decent baker of bread, I am not a natural nor a trained cook. I like to eat good food, of course. But often making good food seems such a tedious, fussy job--so I'm always amazed by the great food people like my daughter, my sister-in-law--even my son--make. Truthfully, I'd rather clean than cook.
Years ago when my husband and I didn't make much, my brother admonished me for buying cheap ingredients for a meal. "You can't make a great meal with poor ingredients," he told me. Truth. Though I know cooks who seem to be able to do just that (knowledge is power in that case, I suspect).
Although I am the main ingredient in my life--like the 100% whole wheat flour in my loaves of bread--I truly can't take any credit for how God made me. If He granted me brains or creativity or a get-up-and-go personality, how can I boast about that? I'm merely the recipient of His goodness! And if I'm not the most beautiful woman or the most charming life-of-the-party personality, why should I complain? God in His infinite knowledge and goodness made me for a specific purpose.
And if I'm not quality? Thank God! He's in the transformation business. Whatever ills and flaws and sorrows beset my soul, He's working them out of me, making me quality. Making me in His likeness.
I think back on the people--the other ingredients--whom God has brought into my life. My easy-going, affectionate, long-suffering father. My demanding and sometimes volatile mother. My vivacious grandfather. My devoted teachers. The passionate youth pastor who challenged my soul. The professors who mentored me in college, often without my realization of the effort they expended on my behalf. The friends who prayed with me and for me.
My husband, who often bore the brunt of smoothing over rough edges. My co-workers and managers. Even my children. And my clients. My editors and my enemies. Even my enemies.
I, like a loaf of hearty bread, am composed of more than one ingredient. Flour is not enough alone. My recipe for 100% whole wheat flour requires boiling water, oil, salt, honey, yeast, and warm water. Some of those ingredients may not be pleasant to consume on their own merit, just as some ingredients of my life weren't pleasant to taste at the time they were added. But mixed together in the right order, the end result can be delicious.
We all have moments when we balk at what God is creating us to be. I have to admit that sometimes I've complained that I'm bound to the mundane. Being a majestic tiered tiramisu would be so much better, right? Who needs wholesome nutrition? Growing children. The hungry. The people God loves. He made me for a purpose.
I rejoice that I am the work of God's hand. That God, who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it. Steve Green's song
rings in my mind and encourages my soul.