While leaving the office on Wednesday, I joked with Debbie that I would be writing this staff letter whilst watching the Great British Bake Off and so I’d end up writing about chocolate. I am now, in fact, writing this letter in front of the Great British Bake Off, but something other than the amazing chocolate tarts has struck me.
These wonderful bakers work super hard for the designated time. They plan their bakes, they have all their ingredients, they mix and roll and prove and all these baking type things that look very complicated and time consuming. They produce the best that they can and then they wait. They wait for the judges’ verdict. All the planning, hard work and time all judged by a scowl and a mouthful of the finished product.
Sometimes their creations are a triumph. They look amazing, taste even better (apparently) and the hard work has all paid off. Other times, disaster strikes. The decorations look untidy, the mixture hasn’t set, the cake hasn’t risen, they don’t like the flavours, it just doesn’t work!
I wonder whether we think that God will judge the things that we do this way? He asks us to do something and we plan and try our hardest and then we wait for the verdict. We think that God will come in with his critical eye and poke holes in the things we have done.
This reminds me of the Parable of the Talents that Jesus tells. Three servants are given a task. Two go and do their very best and one hides in fear. The trouble with the one servant is that he fundamentally misunderstands his master.
Ultimately God is not Paul Hollywood! Or even Mary Berry (despite how lovely she is!). He does not just waltz in at the end and judge what we do. He is intimately involved in everything that we do, he equips and enables us to do things that he asks us to do and he is pleased by our wanting to please him.
It says in Zephaniah:
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
God rejoicing over us with singing sounds like praise indeed! He is our loving Father and he loves nothing more than working with us to see us flourish.
So what ‘show stopper’ is God asking you to be part of? Jump in, because God is longing for you to succeed.