Tuesday, March 13, 2007
If you want a unique dining experience, you should try my wife's Javanese Dinner sometime. It's actually from a friend's recipe, but man it is a smash hit once people figure it out, that is. I love to see people's reactions when they see all the ingredients she spreads out in bowls on the table. Your first impression is, "What does all this make?" There's rice, there's some chicken, there's a bowl of pineapple, there's celery over there, grated cheese, onions, there's a bowl of coconut, there are almonds, a bowl of crunchy noodles, and there's hot broth. Our guests invariably look a little dubious, but we assure them they'll love it when it's all put together. And they always do! In fact, they always come back for more.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What Does All This Make?"
If you're looking for a recipe for this, don't call - don't write. We can't be in the recipe business. But you may be looking at an interesting recipe of ingredients in your life right now. And you're asking the same question that our guests ask when they see my wife's Javanese Dinner, "What does all this make?"
God's ancient people were asking that when Jesus wrote our word for today from the Word of God in Jeremiah 29:11. I'm thinking the Jews didn't particularly like the ingredients God was serving them. They had been carried into captivity in Babylon, they were forced to relocate, they were in strange surroundings, it was a hostile environment, and they were facing an uncertain future. "What does all this make, Lord?" Listen. "'I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Translation: "You'll love it when it's all put together."
Let's look at that strange recipe of ingredients in your life right now. I remember a day our son came home and rehearsed a jumble of recent events; a major athletic injury, the emergence of his new musical ministry, rapid changes in his attitudes and his social life. It was a confusing, sometimes contradictory, swirl of events. And he asked one simple question that day, "Where is all this going?"
Today we know how to answer that a little better. God allowed that frustrating sports injury to turn our son to Him, and then to developing his music as an alternative to sports. That music has become a powerful tool in the unique ministry God has given our son today to Native American young people. And the swirling social changes were actually preparing him ultimately for the wonderful life partner God eventually gave him. "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you." Now, the ingredients may not make sense, but what they're going to make will be amazing some day.
Meanwhile, will you relax in God's wisdom and His goodness, and go with His flow? I remember the day I was climbing a mountain trail with my family, and I was pushing everyone to get to the top. All I cared about was, of course, my destination. And my wife said, "Honey, why don't you enjoy the process, not just the result?" God may be saying that to you right now. In fact, I think God's more interested in what you may become through the process than He is even in the result. So, don't just trust Him for the outcome, trust the process God is taking you through, too.
God's recipe for your future is a lot like my wife's Javanese Dinner; a mixture of ingredients that don't seem to fit and maybe don't even seem too appetizing. But you are going to love what God is making!