April 22, 2020

Becky Lytton passed on this clipping sent by her sister, Mary Lou Odum:

I read a while back a story of a visiting pastor who attended a men’s breakfast in the middle of a rural farming area of the country. The group had asked an old…er farmer decked out in coveralls to say grace for the morning breakfast.

“Lord, I hate buttermilk”, the farmer began. The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wonder where this was going. The farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was growing concerned. Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, “And Lord, you know I don’t much care for raw white flour”. The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room and saw that he wasn’t the only one to feel uncomfortable.

Then the farmer added, “But Lord, when you mix them all together and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up that we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we don’t understand what you’re saying to us, help us to just relax and wait until you are done mixing. It will probably be even better than biscuits. Amen”

Within that silly prayer, there is great wisdom for all when it comes to complicated situations like we are experiencing in the world today.

Stay strong my friends because our LORD is mixing several things that we don’t really care for, but something even better is going to come when God is done with it.

A close up of food

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It strikes me as such a simple, yet profound truth. This is such a confusing and difficult time, with confusing messages from leaders, emerging and continually changing information about when things will get back to normal, and a growing reality that we will live into a new normal. It’s almost as if we are still adding ingredients, and mixing vigorously. No wonder we feel shaken to the core. We simply cannot see the end of things while we are in the midst of them. Søren Kierkegaard wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” We are living forwards, without a clear vision yet of what is at the end of forward.

Eugene Peterson’s translation of 1 Corinthians 13:12 – 13 puts it this way, “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

If we understand a loving God as the baker, we can trust that the end result will be love-filled, seasoned with just the right amount of salt, baked in the proving oven of grace, and every bit as good as manna – God’s heavenly daily bread that is even better than biscuits fresh out of the oven.

My mouth, and my soul, are watering. I hope yours is too ~ Anne

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