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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Baking Soda Kind of Life

My grandmother, Jack, was a wonderful Southern cook. Before my hands could reach the stovetop, I remember resting my tiny chin atop her kitchen table, watching as she whipped up the yummiest recipes.

I remember how she let me don her apron and lick the spoon. And how my grandfather always got the biggest slice of dessert. But most of all I remember how she loved him. She must have worked for many years perfecting that chocolate cake recipe my grandpa always raved about.

Naturally, when my husband and I first started out, I dreamed of doing all those wifely things she did so well. The hot slices of apple pie delivered porch-side, the warm layers of chocolate icing piled atop a Sunday afternoon cake.

I remember pulling my grandmother’s recipe book from my drawer. It was worn and faded, but I could still make out every handwritten ingredient.

Hmm ... apple turnovers, I thought. No. That won’t do. Angel Food Cake, I said to myself, but that would never suffice. Then, covered in a smear of fudge icing (perhaps left over from her very first attempt at her famous recipe), there it was. Chocolate Cake. Just what I was looking for. The perfect symbol of a 70-year marriage in the making. A love letter converted into confectionary perfection.

Without another thought, I dashed to the fridge, grabbed the milk and the eggs, and pulled out the flour and the sugar from the pantry. Hmm ... baking soda, I thought, I don’t have any of that. But what could it hurt? It’s just a teaspoon.

One hour and one horribly tasting, hard-as-a-rock chocolate cake later, I just couldn’t figure out where I’d gone wrong. Now, most of you skilled cooks were probably already rolling your eyes, but I have to admit, up until recently, I had attempted my grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe a whopping 19 times without that one small ingredient.

Ten years and umpteen stomach aches later, I’ve finally realized (much to my family’s taste buds' delight) when a recipe calls for baking soda, a little goes a LONG way. As I watched my husband and our three children gulp down that chocolate cake, God spoke to my heart. “Life is a lot like baking soda. A little Jesus goes a long way.”

Perhaps in the recipe of your life, you’ve wondered what Jesus can do. Maybe you’ve piled your bowl full of things you thought would make your life sweeter and you just don’t see how a dash of Him could make any difference. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you, a little Jesus goes a long way. Don’t believe me? Just sprinkle a little grace on your life, I promise you, you’ll find your spirit lifted (Psalm 30:1) and anxiously waiting to lick the bowl clean.  

Psalm 34:8 invites us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good.” And if you have a queasy stomach, afraid of what that first bite may bring, just ask the taste testers of my first 19 cakes, a baking soda kind of life is the only way to live.

Copyright © Brooke Keith, used with permission.

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