Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days

Don’t Go Off Half-Baked

There’s a somewhat infamous story in my family about the great Christmas cake disaster.

Somewhere in the past few years, I’ve inherited the responsibility for cooking THE Christmas cake. It’s a three-layer coconut cake that harkens back to the ones my mother and grandmother made as part of our family celebrations.

My recipe can be a bit finicky, and one year, thanks to pouring rain on baking day and just total inexperience on my part, disaster struck.

I’d baked and cooled the layers only to flip them onto the cooling racks. No. 1 layer: nary a problem. Nos. 2 and 3: not so lucky. I flipped them out just fine but soon noticed a pile of gooey should-be cake oozing onto the counter.

The labor-intensive cake was underdone, and I was undone. That was the year of the Coconut Cake Trifle.

The image of that poor oozing cake popped in my mind this morning as I read a devotional written by Dr. Charles Stanley. He was looking at the story of Hannah, begging for a child, and compared our sometimes spiritual hurriedness with taking a cake out of the oven way too early:

“It’s only partially baked, with gooey spots everywhere, and obviously isn’t fit for consumption.”

He adds, “Such a decision (to take the cake out early) would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? Yet in an interesting way that scenario parallels what we do as believers when we try to outrun God’s timing and take ourselves out of His preparation time too soon.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself as an oozy gooey mess because I’ve run off half-baked, leaping into action before God’s perfect timing was complete.

Today I offer you Dr. Stanley’s wisdom: “God knows what you need. Don’t give up and try to satisfy that need on your own way. Wait on Him, and He will take care of you according to His goodness.”

That’s a lot better than some half-baked plan.

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