2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
I asked my teenage daughter to make a pasta salad the other day. Nothing fancy, just the box kind, with the recipe on the back (that's how we roll around here-- “homemade”usually involves cracking open a box). I was busy making another dish, keeping my eye on her as we worked. After awhile, I glanced over to see her with a huge glob of mayonnaise poised over the saucepan, ready to dump it in with the pasta and water. "Wait!" I said, "Did you read the directions?" "Yes!" she said, slightly irritated (the default tone of a teenager). "Go back and read it again, out loud," I said. It turns out, she had read the first half of step 2, remove saucepan from heat, but had skimmed right over the second half of the step, drain and rinse the pasta. She was about to ruin the entire dish! And this isn't the first time she's done this. It frustrates me to no end. It's one of my "pet peeps", as my 6-year-old would say. Why won't she just READ THE DIRECTIONS?? But then I thought, wow. I wonder if my Heavenly Father ever says that about me? See, God has given me a set of instructions for my life. A recipe for peace and salvation. And yet, how many times do I overlook it as I try to make my way through each day on my own? Imagine if my well-meaning child treated that recipe...like I treat my Bible. What if, when I handed her the card, she said "Oh, thanks!" and then laid it on a shelf and never looked at it again? Or maybe she read "boil 2 cups of water" and decided it was boring and didn't really help her, so she laid it down and guessed her way through. Or, if she glanced through the recipe and picked out the stuff she wanted to follow and left the rest? Or—can you imagine—what if she stood in the kitchen and cried, "Mom! Please help me! I don't know what to do!" and the recipe was laying right there. Truthfully, I'm guilty of every one of those scenarios when it comes to my Bible. And just like how my daughter's pasta salad would be doomed for disaster, so is my life every time I try to figure it out on my own. When I really thought about it, I realized that when God gave me a direct answer to a question, it was through fasting, prayer, and bible verses. Every time I have been led to something God wants me to take action on or change, it's been through Bible study or devotions or reading plans. So why in the world do I still cry out to Him, frustrated because I don't know the next step?? Thankfully, my Heavenly Father has way more patience for me than I have for my daughter (I'm still PRACTICING, after all), and He is just waiting for me to pick up my Bible and spend time with Him, learning all He wants me to know. And even better, if I don't understand it, He has put people in my life that can help explain it to me: my husband, my pastor, my friends....and the very BEST part is, Jesus is the Master Chef, right beside me as I live my daily life, guiding my steps. What a sigh of relief to know that I'm not in charge of creating my own masterpiece--I would much rather leave the creating to the Creator, and I will happily just follow the recipe!