Recently, I had the privilege of watching my grandmother bake. For me, this simple thing offers a rare, deep sense of home and family. My enjoyment doesn’t have much to do with the sweets that come from her oven (tasty as they may be), but it allows me to appreciate that bit of normalcy in my day.
Small acts can mean so much, even if on the surface they seem inconsequential.
This past November, my father passed away, making me the last surviving member of my immediate family. While it’s a relief that he no longer suffers, for many reasons my grief has been especially difficult. So being able to see my grandma pull together and bake her famous oatmeal-raisin cookies was a special blessing.
As usual, she set out her bowls and pans, prepared the ingredients and began to mix the dough. Point by point, she followed her recipe.
Until she brought out the raisins.
The wrinkled bits of sweet fruit had stuck fast together, making it near-impossible to get them out of the box. But my grandma is one determined lady. Using any implement she thought might work, she dug in until she finally had just enough for her cookies.
It occurred to me then that our lives are often filled with stuck raisins. We know we must dig our way out, but we don’t even know where to begin or what we should use. Worries set in, and eventually we’re mired even further in the glue between the fruit.
If you look back at your life, can you see those times where God unstuck you from a problem, where he provided the answer or the provisions, the exact thing you needed at the exact time you needed it? I’m sure there are many of those sticky moments. I’ve had quite a few myself. They prove that we can trust God to be there when we need him.
“…for in perfect faithfulness, you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago,” (Isaiah 25:1, NIV).
In the book of Isaiah, we read about all God had done for Isaiah’s people, but they were so focused on their sticky problems they couldn’t see that God already held the solutions. Isaiah needed to remind them to trust again.
Sometimes we need that reminder too.
Continuing in the same passage, we see a subtle shift in wording. After reminding the people of God’s faithfulness in the past, Isaiah speaks of what God will do. He gives evidence of what has already been done before he presents God’s promises for the future.
“In that day, they will say ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is our Lord; we trusted in him, let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation,’” (Isaiah 25:9, NIV),
God offers the same promises to us now that he did back then. He is still our refuge, our shelter. He still provides for us. He still brings justice for wrongs done against us. He still gives us peace and comfort and brings joy to our hearts like no one else can. His promises have never ended.
When we refocus and place our trust in the one who holds the future in his hands, that’s when the raisins begin to come unstuck and our difficulties come unglued, one bit at a time. God has the perfect tools and knows just where and when to go to work. Sometimes it takes longer than we’d like, but he always comes through.
Like Isaiah’s people, we must remember what he has already done. Remember that he has already proven that he is worthy of our trust because he has fulfilled his promises many times over, and he will continue to fulfill them in our future.
Beloved, he sees the raisins in your life that have become stuck together, problems that have you mired in the glue and crying out for help. He knows exactly what to do about it. All you need to do is remember the good he has done in your life and place your trust in him again.
And I guarantee, he will unstick those raisins.