I love to bake: love the process, love the end product, love consuming it, love sharing it. I would bake every day if I could, but, alas, I have three children with schedules, a husband to love, and a blog to think about. But five times a year, I really go all out in my baking: family birthdays.
Making a cake to each persons specified likes is one of my favorite things. I love searching for the perfect recipe and decor for each one of my kids, my husband, and even myself. Last year I made for myself a 3 layer cake: brownie, Funfetti, cookies and cream, with a heavenly vanilla buttercream covering it all. My son’s third birthday was a cake in the shape of a 3, with a race track and every Pixar Cars character sitting on top. My daughters have had butterflies, princesses, castles, and strawberries, all in different flavor combinations. Every cake is different and unique, just like the person I’m baking it for.
I think of their personality, their favorite foods, likes and dislikes, and pour all of that knowledge, and my love for them into the perfect cake. I love to watch their eyes light up when they see it for the first time, or watch them close their eyes in satisfaction after that first amazing bite.
I also enjoy baking cookies, and muffins, and even pop-tarts so that I can give them away, and, of course, eat a few myself. As I write, I am eating my favorite recipe of chocolate chip cookies that have already been shared with my friend one street over. Walking the neighborhood with my smiling kiddos, and plates loaded down with treats brings me great joy. As I thought about my love for baking it reminded me of the verse about God giving us perfect gifts.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
God spends every minute of His time thinking, creating, and dreaming up impossibly perfect gifts to lavish on me, and on all of us. And He knows us better than I could ever possibly know my children, my husband, and my friends. He crafts these amazing moments with my children that I desperately need to survive each day. He sends home kind notes from their teachers on days when I feel at a loss and they’re fighting endlessly. When one friend moves away, he rises up another to help fill the gaping hole. When despair and lost hope is all around, he reminds me quietly and carefully that he is hope. When I am at the end of my rope, he sends his gentle Spirit to comfort, protect, and help me through.
He does this for each and every one of us, personally, carefully, and perfectly. When we are in need, he lifts us up. When we need comfort he sends a friend, or a word straight from him. When we need a miracle, he is ready to give it. We don’t have to work for it, we don’t deserve it, but he loves to do it. I imagine him up in heaven watching us receive these gifts. I imagine he is smiling as we take that first taste and close our eyes in satisfaction. I imagine that he watches our eyes light up and revels in the joy that he has created just for us.
I think we can sometimes forget that all the things on earth that bring us joy are precious gifts from our Father in heaven. We can chalk it up to earthly satisfaction, or we can praise the Lord for seeing us, for loving us, and for wanting to give us gifts.
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
So next time your kid says something sweet, your coffee tastes extra good, you hit all the green lights, or your work brings in donuts one morning, remember that God is up there in heaven watching you enjoy these precious gifts. He has crafted that super specific three-layer cake of goodness right in front of you, and all you have to do is accept it, thank him for it, and continue to expect these personal gifts from your heavenly Father. And that gift will always come in the perfect moment, right when you need it most.