Cooking is one of my favorite aspects of marriage: creating a meal from various ingredients, discovering which herbs and spices go well together; the feeling of accomplishment in providing a meal that is filling and satisfying, to your friends and family. This art can only be perfected by multiple trials, many errors and laughing at yourself. Delving into this process has given me opportunity to utilize new ingredients, as well as master common foods that are crucial to a meal but can prove to be difficult at times.
One ingredient has put up a fight on several occasions: causing me to cry, slipping into the trash; even cutting myself several times as I valiantly sliced it with its peel on. The onion: spicy in flavor and tough in exterior. This particular vegetable takes work and patience in getting to the edible, sweet portion. The extensive work of the chef, in preserving the best part of the onion by peeling away its rough layers with precision is comparable to the Lord’s exhaustive measures of restoring the believer throughout the process of removing the canker of sin.
The decay of humanity set in motion by sin and altogether, overcome by the death and resurrection of Christ has set apart those created for His ultimate plan. This plan, which will result in glorifying God for all of eternity through our praises and life here on earth, includes the necessary, yet uncomfortable and at times, painful process of God removing certain areas from our lives. It’s easy to convince ourselves that God is being unkind and even a little unrealistic in expecting us to give up certain things, people and even dreams.
Consider this one step further: the enemy, who is defeated, is prowling around the earth as a wounded animal, hoping to gain as many fallen away individuals as he can, has perfected his craft of casting doubt on the genuine love of God. But I urge you to not pay heed to the reasoning of Satan for it was this very reasoning that led to his being thrown out of God’s presence for all of eternity.
Instead of squawking about the difficulty in God leading you to give up certain areas that are sinful or leading into sin, rejoice in the fact that He is leading you to be His perfected creation who will receive the highest praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”[i]
Why not strive to welcome the shaping of God versus striving against God’s removal of everything that is harmful and inhibiting?