I’ve always enjoyed the sermon illustration about the small-town pastor who called on one of his older men to pray in a worship service.
“Lord, I don’t like buttermilk,” the old man began. “Lord, I don’t like lard. Lord I don’t like plain flour. But when they’re mixed together and baked in a hot oven, they sure do make tasty biscuits, and I just love biscuits. Please, Lord, help us to realize that, when we face things we don’t like in life, we need to wait and see what You’re making. After You get finished mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”
Most if not all of us have faced difficult circumstances that we didn’t like. Often, those circumstances triggered change that left us feeling anxious and uncertain. Years later, as we look back through the perspective of time, we can see how the Lord took those circumstances and made something good from them.
The Bible tells us that’s the way things often work.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
In the Book of Genesis, we learn about a young man named Joseph who faced literally one hardship after another in life. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery in a foreign country. While there, he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and was thrown into prison. Yet, God worked all those circumstances together for good. He ended up freed from prison and was even given an important government position that allowed him to save the lives of his family and many others during years of drought and famine.
No doubt, Joseph didn’t like the circumstances. But he was able to see the big picture, and he realized that what others meant as evil, God used for good. If we look back over our lives, we can recall circumstances that we didn’t like at the time, but as years went by we realized the circumstances produced something good.
So, in the sermon illustration, the old man prayed an unlikely prayer. But that prayer is chock full of truth. We need to keep in mind that when circumstances we don’t like come along, we need to give the Lord time to mix and stir and make something great.
Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.