Vintage poster of magician from 1899
Wikimedia Commons CC BY-2.0

Have you ever tried a recipe you secretly doubted would work out?

They’re often the ones with the word “magic” in the recipe title, and they seem to promise the impossible.

The “Magic Chocolate Pudding Cake” below is a good example. The recipe instructs you to press a firm batter into a baking pan, and then pour flavoured boiling water on top of it. It claims this will magically transform into cake and sauce during the baking process.

You may be a bit dubious about this, however. The batter seems too solid and unyielding, impenetrable to the liquid atop it. You don’t see how this “magical” transformation will ever happen.

As you put the baking pan in the oven, you may think, “This will never work out. This will be another culinary disaster my family will tease me about for years to come, like the time I tried to cook a Thanksgiving turkey but forgot to turn the oven on.”

But lo and behold, the recipe does succeed after all! The two differing natures of the mixture are indeed transformed into something new and delicious, and your family thinks you’re a genius in the kitchen.

Unlikely transformations can still happen in our lives, too.

Not through magic, but through the power of God working in our situations.

We may have circumstances in our lives that we think will never change. Perhaps we have a loved one who we fear will never be receptive to the gospel—they’re too firm and unyielding.

Or we might be living with an unfair or difficult situation that has gone on for years. It might be an illness or an injustice of some sort. We can get to the point where we think we’re simply stuck with things as they are—we’ll never see a transformation.

But we should never count God out.

He can change circumstances that seem immutable. He can transform hearts that seem impenetrable to His truth. He can make a way where there is no way.

Painting of Jesus healing the blind man by Vaclav Manes, 1832
Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA-4.0

Ask Abraham and Sarah whether their decades-long infertility was permanent:

“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.” (Genesis 21:1-2 NIV)

Ask the woman who’d suffered from a bleeding disorder for twelve years whether she ever found relief from her illness:

“Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 9:22 NIV)

Ask Bartimaeus, a blind man who was reduced to begging by the roadside, whether things ever turned around for him:

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:51-52 NIV)

With God, transformations that seem unlikely or downright impossible can happen after all. There is nothing too hard for Him.

Do you have a difficult situation in your life that seems unlikely to change?

Bring it to God. Ask your loving Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe, to mercifully intervene in your circumstances. You just may find that His power, in concert with your faith, brings changes to your life that once seemed impossible.

No magic wand required!

Self-saucing chocolate pudding cake like the one below
Photo by Jamieann on Flickr, CC BY-ND-2.0

Magic Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is an old-fashioned favourite. During baking it “magically” separates into two layers: a cake topping with a chocolate sauce underneath.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla


3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups boiling water

In mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients for cake. With a spoon, stir in wet ingredients. Dough will be as thick as marzipan. Press into bottom of 8-inch square nonstick pan.

For sauce, mix sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Pour in boiling water and whisk gently until sugar dissolves. Pour atop cake dough surface; do NOT mix liquid into batter.

Bake at 350º F for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched, or toothpick comes out clean. Serve hot; scoop sauce at bottom of pan and spread overtop cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

Serves 6-8.

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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