This weekend has been a meringue-a-thon for me – cooking lots of little bite sized meringues for a friend’s wedding next weekend. As I was packing the last of them into the freezer (yes, you can freeze meringues) I laughed to myself about what these lovely fluffy bites were made of (the recipe I use is here). In actual fact these bites of lovely sweetness are nothing more than 4 slimy egg whites, a heap of sugar and a splash of vanilla (I forgot the vanilla in some batches!). Eaten on their own the slimy egg whites would make me gag and the heap of sugar would make me chock and I have never been tempted to take a swig of vanilla start from the bottle. But if you take these same three ingredients beat them madly and then stick them in a hot oven a little miracle happens – more-ish meringues fit to celebrate a wedding.
Our lives are so often like these meringues. If we try to break our lives down into the basic ingredients many parts seem to be unpalatable – we have things we go through that we don’t enjoy, suffering, periods of stress, difficulties. Yet in the hands of God he can transform these seemingly simple ingredients into something wonderful.
Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
It is the tough times – the beating, the cooking – the uncomfortable times can transform the seemingly random and unpalatable ingredients of our lives into something beautiful.
Verses that I keep returning to since mum’s death speak of this beauty that comes after suffering:
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
So while I do not enjoy the tough times – they taste bad to me – I do recognise that in the hands of a loving heavenly father they can be transformed into something beautiful that displays His glory. So while I think some of the ingredients of my life are unpalatable I hand them all over to Him who can transform them into something sweet and more-ish