A Bad Batch


I am a terrible cook.  My family still laughs about California shaped pancakes,  boiled shrimp that could have doubled for a dog’s chew toy and venison chili that tasted much like swamp water.

But I love to bake, especially at Christmas.

I research recipes on line and try them out while donning my grandmother’s apron and listening to one of my favorite holiday movies.  I don’t have to watch the movie.  It simply keeps me company and puts me in the holiday spirit.

Today I attempted a recipe for cake batter cookies made with whipped topping and powdered sugar.  The first batch, lemon-flavored cookies, turned out so well I had to exert some real self-control so as to not devour them all myself, in one fell swoop.  Once they were securely stored in an airtight container, I began the second batch, strawberry-flavored.

Epic fail.  Since they are cake batter cookies it is very important to space them apart from one another.  If the spacing is not good, what emerges from the oven is a misshapen conglomeration that looks less like cookies and more like a flat, very sad cake. It’s actually, worse than that.  My cookies looked like a medical lab experiment gone terribly wrong.

Frustrated and embarrassed by my flop, I needed to get rid of the evidence quickly.  But I was curious, so I broke off a piece and sampled it.  The grotesque “cookies” actually tasted pretty good.  There was no way, however, that I was going serve these to friends and family. The neighborhood volunteer fire department and city workers who faithfully collect my trash every week would not receive a festively wrapped batch of homemade cookies from me this year! What a waste!

This disaster was discarded and forgotten.  Almost.

It did make me wonder though, “What if God discarded the bad batches that we so often become even when we know Him?”  Despite careful preparation and the watchful eye of our creator, we often disappoint.  We often fall short.  We are sometimes quite unsightly.  We might be considered a waste.

Did God discard David when he bedded another man’s wife and set up her husband to be killed?  Moses when he lost his temper?  The Israelites when they repeatedly questioned and outright rebelled?  Simon Peter when he denied Jesus?  Martha when she became rattled about work and her sister and complained to the Lord, almost missing the whole point?

Pretty bad batches all of these.  Disappointing.  Short.  Unsightly. Wasteful.

But He doesn’t throw us out.  He knows the sweetness that lies beneath the ugly surface. He made us.  We may not be pleasing to the world’s eye, but that doesn’t matter to Him.  He doesn’t discard bad batches.  He makes kings, leaders, nations, prophets and object lessons of us.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Lord, help me to remember that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and never a bad batch in your eyes.


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