August 23, 2012
My little granny turned 91 years old in January. It’s a good thing that she doesn’t use the Internet or she would be angry with me for sharing this embarrassing information. One thing I love about her is that she still goes twice a month to the Russian Orthodox Church where I was baptized as an infant, to crank out 6,000 perogies with her gnarled hands, hands mis-shaped by rheumatoid arthritis. Deep-fried perogies are my most favorite food … followed closely by homemade ice cream.
Well, my granny is the dough master. For you non-cooks, the dough master has the most physically grueling task when making perogies. Granny keeps waiting for some young buck to learn her secret before she dies, but none of the younger women have the stamina to do what my 91-year-old granny cranks out. Perogies are a classic example of the final product surpassing the sum of the ingredients. But the result is due to the talent of the cook. Think about the alchemists of old, who practiced combining common, cheap substances and transforming them into something of value.
So many of us suffer from the belief that we have nothing of value to share with others … especially with our God. We feel we are a waste. But nothing is wasted when you share it with Your Lord. He can bring beauty out of the ashes of broken or lost dreams. He can turn the darkness of your worst failures into beauty and hope. He can glean joy out of sorrow and peace out of adversity. Your God, the Master Chef, delights in blending His love, grace and forgiveness with your pride, sin and failures. He transforms His children from sinful wretches into wonderful disciples.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to design the recipe yourself. Don’t let Satan trick you into thinking you are the master chef. You only get fool’s gold when you play that game. Trust God to be the master chef of your life because He uses ingredients that are truly out of this world.
Today, stop using your own recipe as you deal with a current problem. Seek God’s recipe. Bring your sorrow, sadness and brokenness to God. Release them into his care and keeping. He will not only heal your brokenness … He will give you a new dream – one that is in perfect harmony with His plans for you. To do this, give up one of your “needs” and instead, depend on His promises. As you begin to work with Him to bring this fresh dream into reality, you will find yourself becoming more and more content, and increasingly aware of His beautiful presence seeping into all the nooks and crannies of your life. Only your best friend, the King of Kings, could accomplish this Divine Alchemy. Deciding upon your master chef is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, I am so blessed to call You my friend. I pray, Father, that You help me share more and more of my life with You. I believe that You, and only You, can bring beauty out of my sorrow and my lost dreams. I confess, Father, that as I try to bring my junk to You for transformation I become stuck in self-pity … in my brokenness and in my struggles. Help me bring all these things to You so that You can place on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes. I know You are the Divine Alchemist. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who needed no alchemy to shine His glory, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
He has sent me to bind the brokenhearted … 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. Isaiah 61:2-3
Jesus looked at them and said; “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26