I think the hardest thing about life is that we can’t control any of it. We don’t get to decide when we are tested in life or when we are rewarded. We don’t get to prepare for a specific moment. So we are left with two choices. We can put our faith in God, and know that it doesn’t matter when that specific moment comes and whatever it holds, we are prepared and we will handle it, and we will always be rewarded in the end. Or we can just wait and worry.
The other night I was unwrapping a roll of biscuits. I peeled back the paper carefully, anticipating the sudden small explosion to happen any second. All the paper peeled off, and…. nothing. The can was still intact. So I gently tapped it on the side of the counter. Nothing. The can wasn’t opening. I pressed with all my might on the seal, totally ready for the jolt of anxiety that comes when that can violently bursts open… and nothing. I decided I should stab it with a butter knife to break the seal. As I opened the silverware drawer to find the weapon I needed, BANG!!!! The can burst open out of nowhere! My heart jumped at the noise as if it were a gun going off in the kitchen. I was not ready for it, at all! I threw the can of biscuits to the ground and spun, ready to take action against whatever threat was in my kitchen. Then I realized that it was the can of biscuits, and there at my feet was a pile of sticky dough ooozing through the spiral opening in the cardboard tube.
Natalie burst into laughter! We both started laughing. And despite the fact that my heart was still racing from the scare, I had so much joy in hearing Natalie’s deep, belly rolling laughter that I didn’t mind picking up the dough and seeing if there were still a few biscuits I could salvage.
( – don’t judge; 5 second rule, yo!)
We can try, and try, and wait and wait, and be ready and on guard, but then still, out of nowhere, something comes at us that we weren’t expecting, at all. Forrest Gump said life is like a box of chocolates, but I think life is more like a can of biscuits. God is unwrapping things in our lives all the time and we have no idea when the container will finally bust. We might be watching, patiently (or impatiently) waiting, feeling totally prepared, and then still, seemingly out of nowhere God will toss a clump of raw dough at us and expect us to do something with it.
But he isn’t expecting us to do it alone. He has gifted us with bold courage, to stand in the kitchen with that can of biscuits, to go at it with weapons if we have to, knowing that it will scare us when we finally beat it. He has empowered us with fearless love, so that despite the scare we can pick up the pieces and brush them off when they hit the floor, because they are all a gift from God. And the sweet taste of fresh baked carbs around a table with your laughing loved ones, is a reward worth the fight. That is endless joy.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3