Thursday, September 18, 2014

When Brownies Fall Apart – In Christ Alone

In Bolivia, I am incompetent in so many ways. But let’s be honest, no matter where I am there are lots of things I cannot do. In Bolivia, it’s just harder to hide these things. Anywhere from buying gas to make my stove work, to solving division problems Bolivian style, to butchering chicken, I am almost completely incompetent.

But, when it comes to brownies…. that is something I can do.  If you have known me for more than 3 months, I have probably made you brownies. They are one of my favorite foods, and making them for other people is a great excuse to eat them myself.

So when my church announced we were having a bake sale, I got excited. Not just because it meant there would be lots of sweets available, but because I felt like I had something to contribute! I made plans with some new friends to make brownies, and I was equally excited to be able to eat and sell them.

The brownies turned out deliciously, and I snuck a few from the pans as they were cooling. Then I started taking them out of the pans. I had a little trouble getting them out of the pan in one piece, but I managed to salvage most of them, and the rest of the crumbs I put in a bag to share with the other young people at church.
Before.....


Then I got to church, and somewhere between my kitchen and the bus ride to church, all of the brownies had decided to melt together into one nice big pile. Somehow the brownie pile got brought out to the table where desserts were being sold, and everyone looked at it curiously. Brownies aren’t common in Bolivia, but even if they were, they weren’t recognizable as brownies. Someone asked why we had meat at the bake sale. Everyone was very kind, but it was ugly nonetheless. Was is a tasty pile of brownies? Yes. Was it pretty? Not at all.

So as I sat in church feeling incompetent, I began to pray, asking why it was such a big deal to me that I made ugly brownies. And I felt the Lord begin to put the words of the song In Christ Alone on my heart.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

It wasn’t about the brownies, it was about where I was looking to find my identity. Was my worth and value in how well I could make a dessert, or in who Jesus is? Was my identity found in how well I can bake, or in what Jesus has done? Do I depend on other people’s opinions, or is Christ solid ground in my life?

So as much as my pride dislikes being unable to do things for myself, I am so thankful that the Lord has brought me to a place of humility (humiliation), and that in that place, He reminds me that I can stand in His love. That it doesn’t depend on what I can do or can’t do, but who He is. And how freeing that is!

I know you don’t read this to hear a sermon, but because I am so thankful for this lesson in my life, I want to encourage you to think about what you look to for identity and security. Is it solid ground?

I am thankful for you guys! Please let me know how I can be praying for you as always!

p.s. if you want a really good and ugly brownie recipe let me know. :)

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