I Knead Thee Every Hour
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –James 1:2–4
I love to bake. Mostly because I love sweets. So really, it’s about the eating more than the baking…but I digress. Sometimes around the holidays I make my mom’s recipe for pecan cinnamon rolls. It’s quite a process, but very much worth it in the end. They key in getting them to turn out just right is kneading the dough for the right amount of time. You press the dough, add flour, turn it, press it, add flour, and so forth. The way to know it’s been kneaded enough is when the dough is no longer sticky and springs back when you press on it. The more you work the dough, the stronger and more elastic it becomes.
The same is true in the way God works on us. He kneads us, presses us, tests and refines us, adding just the right amounts of what we need to be stronger and are more resilient. Just like with dough, the more elasticity we have, the more we are able to be stretched without breaking. God knows exactly how much testing we need and exactly what things need to be added to our character to help us become the man or woman He designed us to be. He knows if we need more compassion, forgiveness, boldness, vision, or courage to be able to handle what He has in store for us. We may feel like we’ve been pulled through the wringer in the process, but if we allow God to work on our character, the end result will be a person He can use more effectively in His Kingdom. He only tests us to bring about what will ultimately be good results. His goal for us is always to bring us to good things! And I suspect just like my favorite part of baking is being able to enjoy the end result, God loves rejoicing over us when we’ve passed the test!