I was very fortunate in my life to be blessed with a mother who is a fantastic cook.
I probably didn’t realize it when I was younger, but I believe my mom is a genius of sorts in the kitchen. Where I can open the refrigerator or pantry at our home and exclaim, “we really don’t have anything for dinner in here,” she can open the same and within no time have a full meal assembled that is creative and delicious. I have seen her incorporate simple and unusual things into a marinade or sauce that I never would have even thought to try. I actually saw her take a couple of leftover hot mustard dipping sauces for chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s and mix them together with some other various spices and barbecue sauces that she added to some chicken and before I knew it we had these shredded chicken sandwiches that were fantastic!
The reason I share this story with you is because it is an experience that I tend to think about in my own life when I recognize that I am getting bogged down by some of what I see happening around me and I begin to feel discouraged. Most recently I have found myself feeling frustrated and pessimistic at times, because I (like so many of us) have watched the news and have looked at all of the debate going on about violence and shootings in schools. People on television and social media are sharing their opinions about what they think needs to happen, and so often it devolves to a debate where people begin insinuating that those with the opposing view of theirs are stupid. In essence – it ceases to be about actually solving the issue and instead is about who is right and who is wrong and the tension just rises and rises. And I find this tension to be very contagious as I watch others just become indignant and hateful toward each other. And then I can begin to feel overwhelmed and somewhat hopeless that anything will ever truly be resolved.
But when I think about how my mom can look at a situation in our refrigerator where I see no potential for anything good to be made from what’s there – she is much more optimistic and sees that potential and draws it out and makes something great!
And it reminds me that regardless of how overwhelming any situation might be in our world or in our lives, there is never a time when God loses perspective or fails to see how those situations can be used to bring about something redemptive and great. And this is particularly evident this time of year as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. What can bring a greater sense of hopelessness or pessimism in our lives than death. It is the universal challenge that confronts every single person. And yet when God is confronted by it – it doesn’t overwhelm Him! In fact the opposite is true. Death is ultimately overcome by Him.
There are serious issues in our world right now. There have always been serious issues in our world. And if we focus solely on that then we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the weight of it all. But if we back away and allow the one with a better perspective to step in – then much like my mother stepping in to look at what is there in the refrigerator – God will step in and orchestrate something awesome out of it all – something we likely would have never even thought possible.