The last time I made cheesecake, it fell on my daughter’s head.
We loaded up that brand new, never-before-used springform pan with cream cheese and sugar and eggs and all the yummy, gooey goodness of cheesecake batter.
I lifted up the hefty weight of this New York-style cheesecake and just as I made the move over her head and towards the kitchen, the bottom of the pan just collapsed and out ran the cheesecake all into her hair and down onto her forehead and back and hands.
Even after an emergency bath, she smelled delicious.
Their grandparents arrived for a visit and handed the girls hard hats to wear while baking, just in case mom decided to make cheesecake again.
So, I’m browsing through recipes for summer picnics and I see this cheesecake covered with cherries and consider the possibilities.
But I also consider my daughter’s reaction.
Cheesecake? I hate cheesecake. It’ll fall on my head.
She is, in effect, terrified of cheesecake. Or, to be more precise, afraid of being present while I’m baking cheesecake.
All this month, I’m pursuing the presence of Christ by enjoying the Creativity of our Creator God, and in between pictures of desserts and ingredient lists and recipe instructions, I’m thinking of what to do when the sky falls, the world caves in, or when the cheesecake unexpectedly slams down on your head.
Truly I have these terrors of my own, restless anxiety and sleep-stealing fears that leave me pacing before God’s throne long into the night.
Like Change: The way it shifts my life and maybe I’m tossed a little off-balance, all that routine and familiarity disturbed by the unexpected and unknown.
What is it about that unplanned phone call, the shifting of an expectation, the closing of a door, the altering of a plan? It knocks me right off of my two solidly planted feet and I’m grabbing a hard hat for fear of the sky (or a cheesecake) falling onto my hapless self.
But change is one thing that’s constant in this life.
Here’s what’s also constant: God’s presence. His help. His perfect plan. His love.
The Psalmist said:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
(Psalm 46:1-2 ESV).
Because, after all, God didn’t just create this world and then let it go. It’s still all in His hands.
So, I’m doing all this fighting, all this power-praying asking God to please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top, do not let things change….
But maybe I’m praying against the work He wants to do for me, and maybe even the work He wants to do in me.
Like those Jewish captives who had been carried off to Babylon and lived there under Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and then Beltashazzar’s.
Maybe they always longed for home and Jerusalem, but they lived day in and day out in a Babylonian city and under Babylonian laws.
Slowly that foreign city became home.
Then came those Medes and Persians… conquering the empire with a regime change, shaking up every ‘constant’ the people had in that day-in-and-day-out life.
What if Daniel had fought against it? What if those righteous captives had asked God to please just keep things the same? What if they set up prayer vigils pleading with God to keep that conquering nation at bay? What if they had clung to the known and rejected the unknown?
Even if they were captives, after all, at least they knew what this captivity was like.
But they would have missed out on the blessing God planned for them.
And so might I.
Long before He ever allowed Jerusalem’s walls to fall, long before Israel’s captivity began, God ordained the time it would end and that King Cyrus of the Medes and Persians would be the one to send His people back home.
He promised change and the change was for their benefit.
He promises this for me, too:
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV).
All these changes around me are so that He can do a changing work in me and transform me to be more like Jesus.
So, what do I want, after all?
Maybe I’ll need to wear a hard hat, and yet I’ll choose His presence, wherever that takes me.
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Create Beauty’?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King