Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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Jesus Wants All Your Recipes

Posted by Luther D. Powell on September 13, 2012

As a forewarning, this post may come off pretty negative at first. I’ve been in an unpleasant state of mind this past week and it’s made coming up with cheerful writings difficult. Or rather, it’s made writing difficult, period. I don’t want this to be a “woe is me” post by any means, but I feel that bringing up certain issues in my life in such a fashion might prove to be more productive than pretending like everybody can relate to my “stuff” without explaining what it is. I want nothing more than to use this negative topic matter as a means to get a message of hope across to readers.

How often are you cooking up exquisite recipes of bitterness, sadness, anger, etc.? You know like, practically concocting a stew of reasons to be upset, just so you feel like your frustrations are justified? Do you ever empty every ingredient you can think of into the same pot, hoping to come out with some exciting, new “meal,” so to speak? A new outlook on life, a new line of mental and emotional defense against either positive thinking or negative? You may keep pouring into this recipe, trying to figure out how to get it to taste right, trying to figure out how to balance the health-factor with the flavor-factor, and you find that all your ingredients have gone bad. You ran out of this, you need more of that, you don’t have the money to buy new this, that definitely has mold on it. You NEED something new, but you just keep coming up with the same old casserole of frustrations.

Lately, this has been my recipe for bitterness. I don’t mind sharing this stuff because bringing it all to light makes it easier to conquer one way or another, and perhaps a reader or two may be on the same page with me.

First, start with a pot or pan which is clearly too small to contain everything you’re about to pour into it. I.e., your heart, because nobody’s heart was built to withstand these ingredients alone, but you only PLAN to use SOME of this stuff to begin with. Then again, what’s it going to hurt to cook a bit of extra, right?

I’m hungry. Hungry for answers, hungry for peace, hungry for the joy God says we’re supposed to express daily. I’m gonna mix ALL this stuff up whether I can handle it all in one sitting or not.

The order of ingredients may vary, but we’ll start with what we’ll use the most of. For me, that would be twenty-two whole years of “Nobody’s ever going to get me.” It’s not as negative a thought as the rest turn out to be, at first. I can feel like I’ve accepted such a reality enough that it won’t bother me anymore sometimes, but most of the time, it turns out to be a bleak reality that I’m not too content with.

Next, throw in several years of bullying. It really is tasty stuff. I, for one, love to sit back and tell myself, “I have every right to be mad at the way my life has turned out, and it all started with that jerk who chased me around at recess.”

Now that we’re getting some substance to our stew, let’s toss in some broken-heartedness. And by some, I mean ALL of it. How many shelves do you have full of rejection and failed relationships? Trust me on this, you ARE hungry enough. Pour it all in.

After you let that simmer some, you’ve got a good foundation for the meal and you can start adding some spices and seasoning. You know, seasoning, the little things that hang around whether ot not they have some root to stem from. Insecurities, lies, harsh words, turn your kitchen into an Olive Garden of pain using this stuff!

My personal favorites are, “everyone mistakes my kind nature for being-a-huge-creeper,” and “nobody wants to listen to what I have to say.”

Finally, sprinkle a dash of questioning-your-faith over all that. What better follow-up to all your invested bitterness than to argue with yourself over whether or not you actually believe there’s a God out there who cares about you? I won’t lie, I question my faith very rarely, but when I do, it finishes my recipe off with a kick, like a few drops too many of hot sauce or something.

So, you’ve got this dish full of hate and you’re ready to eat. Problem is, people don’t wanna eat that with you. You have to look at it, smell it, taste-test it, and you realize it’s a pretty disgusting mix and you’re not sure if YOU even want to eat it. You’re left with three choices:

1.  Eat it anyway. Suffer through it alone, then repeat the process the next time you’re “hungry.”

2.  Pour it out somewhere. If you don’t want it, get rid of it. Cast it to the wind and wait to see if you can think of something better. (Spoiler-alert: You probably can’t.)

3.  Invite Jesus over to share the meal with Him. Sounds harsh at first, yeah? If your friends don’t want to eat that, why would God share it with you?

You may have already chosen to pour the gunk out somewhere, but it seems like whenever I think of doing that, God stops me and says, “Wait! What do you have there? May I have some? Maybe we can get through this together, yeah?” God did not make us with the capacity to handle all of this on our own. In fact, He’s offered to share it with us, to fight with us, to turn our recipes of bitterness into recipes of love. God can make anything new, He can make anything good, and He can handle the hot sauce.

The best part is, He already did. Now you’ve just gotta wash the dishes.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

2 Responses to “Jesus Wants All Your Recipes”

  1. Anon said

    Numerous times through out the bible, god took the people who were the odd ones out. The ones picked to fail the ” bad news bears”. For instance David verses the Goliath. Or The murder Paul who was a murder but ended up saving thousands. Your going to help someone Ben keep the faith :)

  2. I had just written out my “ingredients” in my journal yesterday and then had to tell myself “Get over it. This isn’t about me anyway!” It is all about HIM and if I can get my nose out of my navel (not so tasty stuff in there anyway) – I do far better and get far more accomplished. Blessings to you!

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