Have you ever really listened to yourself when someone asks, “How are you doing?” Have you heard yourself answer, “I’m doing pretty good under the circumstances?” I thought of that this week when I was offered a piece of cake. I know – what on earth does a piece of cake have to do with how one is feeling?
My friend was cutting several pieces of cake and my mouth was watering in anticipation. While the pieces were basically the same, there was one piece slightly bigger than the rest. There was another piece with some of the icing smudged off. I was glad no one could read my thoughts. I wanted the bigger piece and was definitely hoping the smudged one didn’t come my way. The pieces were passed around and wouldn’t you know it – I was given the smudged one. Hiding my disappointment, I resigned myself to my fate and took a bite of what was on my plate. Ummm! Delicious! Suddenly, neither the size nor the appearance mattered. It was definitely what was on the inside that counted.
Have you ever felt like that misshapen piece of cake? You feel you don’t measure up to the task at hand. You’re not as skilled as others. You feel a failure time and time again. You have one difficulty in life after another to face and you’re tired. You’re just a smudged up, little piece of cake that doesn’t amount to much, but you’re hanging in there and pressing on and even managing to smile while being “under the circumstances.”
Good news, everyone! God doesn’t want us living under the circumstances. He wants us living above any circumstance that comes our way and we can as long as we remember our ingredients. Father God has given us His own Spirit to guide us along the way. He has given us His own courage and stamina to face anything. He has put inside of us, His peace to bring us through all life’s hurts and disappointments. He has given us a quiet joy that bubbles softly even in the midst of our deepest grief.
We may look like – a smudged up, piece of not much – but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. When we pay more attention to our ingredients than we do to our circumstances, then we can get through anything.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Remember, if Father God doesn’t give up on us, we have no right to give up on ourselves.