Sometimes the best laid plans blow up in your face—literally.
Before my husband’s little brother got married a couple summers ago, I co-hosted a wedding shower for my future sister-in-law. My job was to bake the cupcakes. I’m talking from-scratch chocolate lime batter with homemade buttercream icing and sugar cookie toppers frosted to look like lime slices.
In other words, a two-day project.
For weeks leading up to the shower, I scoured Pinterest, browsed cake supply shops, and baked three test batches to tweak the recipes just right. So when cookie baking day finally arrived, I was as pumped as a contestant on Cupcake Wars. Let’s DO this thing!
Sugar cookie dough—mixed, chilled, rolled and cut—check! I popped the cookie sheet in the oven, dusted flour off my apron, and turned toward the sink to scrub mixing bowls.
But then. Zap! Bam! Bam! Zap!
I spun around and saw fireworks flying inside my oven. White and blue electric bombs flashed and sizzled behind the door glass. I sucked in my breath and watched, helpless and horrified, as the heating coil burst into flames.
Noooooo! This cannot be happening.
Three dozen cupcakes due in less than 36 hours—and my oven just blew up. Do you think God was trying to tell me something?
I wondered. Maybe I shouldn’t bake these cupcakes. What if God is protecting me from poisoning everyone! Even my co-hosts encouraged me to drop the spatula and call a bakery. Don’t stress yourself out, they said. Nobody will know the difference.
Nobody but me. I’d worked so hard and party-planned for so long, darn it, I wanted some spectacular baked goods to show for it. So I drove seven blocks to my husband’s grandfather’s kitchen and baked those crazy cookies anyway. The next day, I hijacked his oven again to bake the cupcakes. That evening, halfway through beating an enormous bowl of frosting, my handheld mixer burned out and spun wafts of electric smoke up my nostrils—but I chose to laugh instead of cry.
Call me stubborn.
Or call me faithful.
“For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Are you in a tough spot right now? Do the circumstances surrounding you look impossible to climb? Maybe they’re not a sign from God to quit, but rather an invitation from God to do great things.
Think about it.
Noah built an ark.
Moses walked across the dry sea floor.
Joshua demolished Jericho’s walls with trumpets and shouts.
Mary raised Jesus—God in the flesh—as her firstborn child.
What if they had said, forget it. Can’t do it. Too many obstacles, too much opposition.
What if they had looked only at their circumstances, and not at their God?
I know my cupcakes weren’t miracle material. But they did get me thinking about how easily we can give up and call it God’s will. Why shouldn’t we be inconvenienced, work a little harder, or pour our aching hearts into something that matters? Maybe the most worthwhile pursuits are the ones that require us to walk with God through the kitchen fire.
The morning of the shower, I arrived carrying three dozen labors of chocolate cupcake love. And they were limetastic. So the next time your proverbial oven blows up, remember this. God might not be telling you to quit. He’s simply teaching you to persevere.
This post is brought to you from the Time Out archives.