This afternoon as I stood at the kitchen counter kneading bread dough, it came to mind that we, just like the flour, water and yeast I used to make bread, have to be worked and kneaded in order to fulfil our purpose.
The more I worked the dough, the more pliable it became; soft and suede-like to the touch.
A physically tiring ten minutes and if skipped, would ruin the entire loaf.
As I finished off, the bread now light and pliable, I realised that I am just the same as a ball of dough in a bread maker’s grasp. I, like bread, need to be kneaded and worked upon in order for me to become who my Maker intended me to be.
The process is hard. I fight, I flail, making my master work all the harder to shape me and make me soft.
My life is one that requires kneading. It requires the Creator, in whom I have put my trust, to work on my stubborn heart.
It is a long process, and if skipped would destroy me. Not everyone submits to it. Some turn it down, convinced they can do without it.
In the times when the kneading is the most painful and my hope is beginning to fail, I feel my Master's warm and strong hand moving me gently; working me to become the perfect creation. I have to trust Him (Prov 3:5-6).
And when my turmoil is over and I am set to rise, to become the masterpiece my Creator had in mind when he first predestined me (Ps 139:13), my life on earth, of hardship and suffering, will be over.
In my heart I hear His voice...
'I made you in my own image, dear one, to become what I planned for you. Through all the pain I had no intention of harming you. What I wanted for you was so much greater than anything else the world offered. That is why I had to knead you, work you into what I wanted you to be (Jer 29:11).
Well done my good and faithful servant...'
The dough is shaped, smoothed and patted and left to rise...
It is placed in the oven as a floppy mass and comes out a golden brown loaf. It is beautiful and well worth the effort. It is what I, as the maker, had in mind when I first took the ingredients out of the pantry...
Dear friend, you and I are so like bread dough ourselves; sinful human beings living in a sinful world where Satan has the upper hand. We have to be mixed and kneaded and prodded and pushed in order to become the works of art the Lord predestined us to be. But we have stubborn hearts. We fight and flail beneath the Maker's hands...
Our Creator wants us to be who He created us to be. He wants the best for us. And He knows the process is hard; it is long and painful. But the reward in the end is of greater value, surely... The Word tells us that the Lord has amazing plans for us and that He doesn't want to harm us. He wants to give us hope, a future of eternal value.
But the road to Life is hard. It is marked with pain and suffering which is like the 'kneading' in our lives to make us more like Him. We will experience hardship, but if we embrace the will of the Father, the kneading of His mighty hand, He can work with us, use us for His glory...
Jesus wants greatness for us. But we sin and make mistakes. Often we reject the Perfect Plan and go after our own desires. We stumble and we fall.
And Jesus knows these things. He knows we have selfish hearts full of conceit and pride and vanity. He knows. And He sacrificed Himself, His perfect, perfect self on the cross to die for us. To take our sins, our problems onto His divine self. He who had no sin became the living atonement for us. The lamb who was sacrificed, whose blood was shed for us.
How incredible, wonderful, amazing, awesome, astounding and glorious is that?
And He forgives, He forgets.
He kneads us, forgives when we struggle and forms us into perfect creations (Phil 1:6).
And all He asks for this is that we allow Him into our hearts (Acts 16:31).
He only asks us to invite Him in and ask Him to cleanse all unrighteousness.
He can and He will. (Lam 3:21-23)
He is waiting for you. Waiting. Waiting.
Will you accept Him?
And most of all, He loves you and has loved you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3). It will not die. Ever.
Blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ,
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”