Baking up delight

I don’t know what it is that makes it so fun to them, but kids seem to love to bake. For years, my children have come wandering in to my office holding boxes of cake mix or brownies, wanting to make something. I don’t think it’s just that they’re hungry for sweets; it’s the process they enjoy. Working alongside me, cracking eggs, pouring oil, the powdery cloud of flour that rises when you pour the mix into the bowl and start stirring, the delight when you turn on the oven light and see what’s happening. And the absolute joy when you pull the pan out of the oven and find it’s no longer a gloppy, runny mixture of messy ingredients, but a firm, golden, spongy cake.

The other night when I was praying, I realized that’s what God does: He lets us help Him cook. He asks for our prayers even though He doesn’t need our opinions about how things should be done and He doesn’t require our assistance. He is perfectly capable of making decisions on His own, measuring out justice and mercy and grace, and doing it all without making a mess. But when we come to Him in prayer, He’s allowing us to be a part of the process. It’s easier for Him when we’re not there to get in the way. It’s faster when we’re not bumbling around in the middle. And it’s much neater when we’re not there to drop things or grab the wrong ingredients. But the delight on our faces when we see what comes out of the oven—when we see prayers answered and hearts healed and lives changed and love prevailing, when we know that we were privileged to be allowed to be a part of it, and that even though we weren’t necessary to the process, He loves us enough to want us working alongside Him—well, I think that’s why He does it.

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