Some things are better when they don’t come too easily, aren’t they?
Like making butter yourself. When I was a child, I had the chance to do just that.
On a visit to my grandparents’ farm, my grandmother handed me a closed jar with rich cream inside it from their dairy cows. She instructed me to shake the jar vigorously.
I did so, but didn’t see much happening. I wanted to give up, but Grandma told me to keep agitating the jar. I obeyed, and soon started to see clumps forming inside the jar.
Grandma knew it wasn’t ready yet, however, and instructed me to keep going. My little arms were getting tired, but eventually Grandma told me I could stop. The cream had finally transformed into the right consistency.
I had made butter! (Well, technically, I suppose most of the credit should go to the cows.)
It was hard work making that fresh butter, but the taste of it was heavenly on fresh bread. It was vastly superior to the blocks of chilled butter you buy in the supermarket. Not only did it taste wonderful, I appreciated the butter more because I’d put in the work myself to make it.
Sometimes God lets us go through the effort of doing things for ourselves, doesn’t He?
Instead of stepping in and doing something for us via a miracle or other means, sometimes He knows it’s better for us to grow in perseverance.
“…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4 NIV)
God knows that we’ll appreciate the end result more, and we’ll have grown stronger from the effort. We’ll see a transformation in our lives and faith that can only come from putting in the work ourselves.
“…the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4 NIV)
So the next time you’re tempted to give up too early or complain about the effort you’re having to put in, remember the lesson a little girl learned about persevering:
Sometimes it’s better not to have all your problems resolved quickly and easily, like a hot knife through butter!
Another of my mother’s recipes. She used to make these at Christmastime, but they’re yummy at any season. They’re a simple, quick cookie which you can decorate any way you like.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Maraschino or glacé cherries, halved
Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture and add vanilla. Work well together.
Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press balls down slightly with a fork. Place half a cherry on top of each cookie.
Bake at 350 º F for 8-10 minutes.
Variation: Instead of the cherries, top the cookies with sprinkles, sliced almonds, or whatever strikes your fancy.
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.