“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 NIV
My brother is a very good cook, and one of my favorite things that he makes is his chocolate chip cookies. He tinkers with the recipe a lot, but the core ingredients are always there: butter, eggs, flour, chocolate. Every once in a while, though, he likes to play with the amounts of each ingredient, or add in a little something extra, to explore his own tastes and the tastes of the people that he loves. Sometimes he makes mistakes and learns from those mistakes. Sometimes he hits on a change that elevates the recipe to another level and he runs with that. But in every case, there are core ingredients that he keeps consistent because without those core ingredients, the cookies that he’s making just wouldn’t be cookies at all.
The passage above is like the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. The ingredients: hope, patience, and prayer can be thought of as the three base ingredients for faith. Often times, like my brother and his cookies, we change the recipe a bit because of the circumstances of our lives. We struggle with hope for a job we once loved but that now overwhelms us. We increase the amount of prayer that we do to try to help a friend who is battling a sickness. We check our patience at the door because we really need that thing we’re waiting for, and we need it now.
Sometimes we add in ingredients: wisdom, generosity, kindness. But in the end, there is always hope, patience and prayer. The resurrection gives us hope that we will have life after death. We are patient to wait for Him to come back to us. While we wait, we pray. It’s a recipe for success, and what a brilliant recipe it is.
Thank you for your faithful daily devotions in the Lenten season. I have really enjoyed them.
He is risen. He is risen, indeed!