Earlier this year, I decided to take up baking. Again. I had tried it out a few years back, but that failed. 

My mum, who has been baking for way longer than my small 21 years of life had offered to help me back then. But I rejected it, believing that I could do it on my own.  So this year, I surrendered and with my tail between my legs, I went running back to her. During our baking sessions, I realised why my cake was so dead. It isn’t the ingredients used that makes a cake ‘good’, but it is how everything is put together.

Imagine that you offered to bake some cupcakes for me (I think I’ve made my love for cake obvious now). You mix the sugar, butter, eggs and flour together but decide to bake it at the lowest heat for only 5 minutes.. I would probably thank you, but tell you to feel free to drink the cake by yourself.

There are hundreds of cake recipes. There’s eggless cake, cakes injected with jam or full of raisins, sultanas and cherries, whilst others may include cocoa, red food colouring and topped with cream cheese frosting. Whatever the ingredients may be, all things that have been added into it cannot work together without them being added in a certain order, mixed with a certain technique or baked at the right temperature and for the right amount of time.

We are full of ‘ingredients’ – experiences and life events that make us who we are. They may be a result of where and when we were born, the families we were born into and the people we meet and so on. Some life events may happen due to circumstance. Others cannot be explained.

The experiences and life events that we face may make us lose hope in life, may make us question the existence and power of God and whether he really hears us calling or not.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.

You may have 50g of loneliness and 70g of separation, one spoon of educational achievement but 10 spoons of loss, a dash of financial difficulty and a sprinkle of negative thoughts, a drop of joy but a heap of sorrow, a slice of hospital admittance with a cup of bad relationships, 100ml of confusion, of neglect, of insecurity, abuse, fear..

At first glance, this ‘recipe’ appears to be a recipe for disaster. But in a way that no one can understand or explain, God can make all things work together to be formed into something ‘good’. 

However, Terms and Conditions do apply.

Romans 8:28 can easily be misread as so:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.

The second half of the verse becomes like the small print written in the terms and conditions. Which nobody reads. What we must realise is that all that God requires from us is to respond to his love with love, through obedience, desire and worship, in order for this verse to become real in our lives.

Once you grow to love God and realise that you have been called according to his purpose, experiences and events in your life are shaped and formed into something beautiful.

Personally, Romans 8:28 gives me comfort as I know that in spite of how unpleasant, sorrowful and just plain sad that life can be, God has assured us that all these things will work together for good.

Psalm 27:13
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (KJV)