Have you ever tried to make a cake with small children?
While it’s fun, it’s also a messy endeavor, and there’s no guaranteeing your final result will be edible.
I remembered this recently when baking with two of my kids. My three-year-old is okay at listening to directions—but my one-year-old is not! Regardless, we decided to bake a cake and donned our aprons. I was haphazardly measuring ingredients while also trying to make sure the baby didn’t fling everything out of the kitchen cabinets, and somehow a bunch of flour exploded on the counter. Needless to say—I got distracted!
Many messes later, the cake was ready to be poured into the pan. My daughter asked to lick the spatula, and I handed it over as I took a quick swipe of batter to give it a taste, as it was a new recipe to me.
My daughter and I tasted the batter at the same time, and I saw her face twist in disgust. In the same instant, my taste buds screamed, “BAD!” We both spit the batter out. It was revolting! In the chaos of the baking process, we had forgotten a crucial ingredient—sugar!
A life without Jesus is like a cake without sugar. It looks good—but tastes bad!
I bet you know and care for plenty of funny, kind, smart, successful people in the world who do not love God. On the outside, these people’s lives can look wonderful, but under the surface, their souls have no peace. They have questions the world cannot answer. They try and try to fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts with so many things that never fill them up. It’s not a sweet life. As Paul said in Philippians 3:18,19, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
We all struggle with this. By nature, humans are bitter enemies of God—but we have hope! Ephesians 2:3-5 says, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
God gives us free forgiveness for the sake of his Son, Jesus. Is there sweeter news?!
As forgiven children of God, we find true peace in his promises. Our big questions in life are answered! We can be truly content knowing that God loves us and will give us all we need until he brings us home to heaven. We can praise our heavenly Father along with David, the writer of Psalm 34, and shout, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (verses 8-10).
No one is unfixable. God’s love and grace are always there, even in the times we forget to trust in him. When we are walking with Jesus, we truly lack no good thing!
My mess of a cake wasn’t unfixable either. My daughter and I dumped the batter back into the bowl, added a full cup of sugar, and did another taste test. This time we both grinned as the now-sweet batter hit our tongues. What was almost a disaster turned into a deliciously spongy chocolate cake!
I love the line with which Louisa M. R. Stead opened her now-classic hymn: “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Our lives were almost a disaster—like my sour cake!—until Jesus stepped in. But because of his salvation, our lives are so, so sweet. Thanks be to God for his delicious grace!
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
and I know that Thou art with me,
wilt be with me to the end. (stanza 4)
(I love this version of “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” by Jadon Lavik! Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OrAP1WoFkU&list=OLAK5uy_mh40xDjTiNVjM4cDKNJgoU2IMvGJrAmFE&index=3)