Cake Explosion Photo by Raffi Asdourian on Flickr CC BY-2.0

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, recipes don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to.

Your soufflé turns into a pancake; your cookies are as hard as hockey pucks; or your cake is a soggy mess. Any way you slice it (if it’s even possible to slice it), the recipe results in a total disaster.

Sometimes it’s due to a mistake on your part. You accidentally added twice the amount of an ingredient called for (guilty!); you used Shake ’n’ Bake instead of graham cracker crumbs for the dessert base; or you put the pizza in the oven for 450 minutes at 15 degrees, instead of 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Or maybe the fault lies with someone else. The recipe’s author might have led you astray by inadvertently calling for 1/2 pound of flour instead of 1/2 cup’s worth. You only discover later that the recipe contained errors when you see a correction printed in the next day’s newspaper or blog post. But by then, of course, it’s too late: your family is using the rock-hard muffins you made as door-stops.

Often, you didn’t see a recipe fail coming at all. You followed the instructions to the letter, but it still didn’t work out. The ingredients may not have behaved as you expected due to humidity, altitude, or their age. Your oven may be hotter or colder than you realized, or your flour is harder than the type tested in the recipe. It wasn’t your fault, but just the nature of baking.

As Marian Keyes puts it in her cookbook, “Saved by Cake,” sometimes bad cakes happen to good people.

It’s the same in our lives, isn’t it? Sometimes things go wrong even when we’ve tried to do everything right. Our lives don’t turn out the way we expected.

But there’s good news for the believer in God: He can redeem any mistake and turn things around for your good and His glory.

Much of the time, the disasters we find ourselves in are of our own making. Whether as a result of pride, stubbornness, folly, ignoring Biblical advice, or outright sin, we end up making mistakes which turn out to be costly to us.

At other times, you may find yourself in a crisis due to the mistakes or decisions of other people. You might face an unexpected layoff; you may be struck by a drunk driver; or your spouse might decide they love someone else. Suddenly, your life is upended and your plans derailed.

Oops! Photo by Lexinatrix on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

Sometimes, circumstances on a wider scale leave you facing a catastrophe. A pandemic hits; a downturn in the economy shutters your business; a loved one falls ill. These events were beyond your control, and you didn’t see any of it coming. It wasn’t your fault, it’s just the nature of the world we live in.

But no matter the cause of your calamity, God can redeem it.

If the trouble you find yourself in is of your own making, Scripture tells us to be honest about it with God. He’ll forgive you and get you back on track.

“But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.”
(1 John 1:9 GNT)

If your hardship is due to the mistakes of others or just the vicissitudes of life, Scripture gives us hope that God can redeem these situations as well:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
(Romans 8:28 NLT)

You may not be able to see how any good could come from your trials, but be assured that God won’t waste your pain. He might use your difficulties to strengthen you, to mature your faith, to equip you to minister to others, to display His power in your weakness, to draw you closer to Him, or to reveal His faithfulness to you.

When disasters occur in the kitchen, the results usually can’t be salvaged: they must be thrown out.

But in our lives, there’s no mistake that God can’t redeem. He can use even bad events for our eventual good and to benefit His kingdom.

When bad cakes happen to good people, good people keep on baking and trusting God!

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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