Have you ever cooked a dish which turned out to be plainly inedible, or even downright dangerous to consume?
It can happen to the best of us, as these examples prove:
A grandmother with failing eyesight accidentally grabbed a bottle of ammonia instead of vinegar when making potato salad for her family. They started gagging at the mere smell of it, which fortunately prevented anyone from eating it!
An 18-year-old living on his own for the first time wanted to make fried rice. He poured some oil into a very hot pan, then dumped in a bunch of uncooked rice. Needless to say, the burned mess had to be thrown out.
Another young person forgot to add water when cooking packaged ramen noodles. I guess cooking isn’t for everyone!
Did you know that a cooking fail even happened in the Bible?
This unusual story is told in 2 Kings 4:38-41. It was a time of famine, so people were understandably anxious to eat whatever they could get their hands on. The prophet Elisha was with a group, and he directed them to make some stew. One man found some wild gourds and added them into the pot, not knowing exactly what they were.
As the group began eating the stew, however, they realized something was terribly wrong. It contained poisonous ingredients. They told Elisha, “There’s death in the pot!”
So Elisha added flour to the pot. Now, many of us have done something similar when the gravy we’ve been making is too greasy. But in this case, no amount of flour would have rescued a poisonous dish. It was actually God’s miraculous power which counteracted the deadly gourds and made the stew safe for the group to eat.
This passage of Scripture concludes with: “There was no longer anything harmful in the pot.”
Isn’t this just the way God can redeem our mistakes, too?
Maybe we’ve added the wrong “ingredient” by allowing something in our lives that isn’t God’s best for us. Or perhaps we’ve omitted something crucial in our Christian walk, like forgiveness or humility. It could be that we’ve made such a mess of things through sinful behaviour that the “stew” poses harm to us and our families.
But when we repent, God can make things right again in our lives.
To be sure, on some occasions we’ll still have to deal with the consequences of our failures. But through Christ’s work on the Cross, we can be forgiven, our sins erased from the ledger. They’re held against us no more.
“ ‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 NLT)
Perhaps there are a few of us who have never made mistakes in cooking (I’m not one of them!). But all of us have sinned in life. The good news is that God has a guaranteed remedy to deal with our sin.
The blood of Jesus can neutralize the toxin of sin in our lives, like an antidote to a snake’s deadly poison. There’s no mistake that Jesus can’t redeem, no wrongdoing that He can’t atone for. He is the essential ingredient for a victorious life.
When you add Jesus to the recipe of your life, it will always turn out well!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.