Tried and True
Recently, my wife and I were spending time adoring God while driving over to a friend’s house and she said something profound that’s been on my heart all week.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my wife and I have been trying out The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition. We’ve made several recipes and I still highly recommend this book. Similar to The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, the book is a collection of recipes that have been tested and tweaked until the perfect recipe is achieved. According to the Editorial Review on Amazon, “Cook’s Illustrated is known for careful (some would say compulsive) testing of recipes…”
My wife and I have tried numerous recipes from various blogs that have step-by-step instructions and impressively detailed food porn, but ours never turns out like theirs nor does it taste very good. The New Best Recipe, however, instills confidence in amatuer cooks like ourselves b/c the recipes have been tested over and over again, and we’ve found the results to be excellent! So while adoring God, my wife says that He’s like The New Best Recipe book: we have confidence in Him b/c He’s been tested over and over again. Specifially, she was speaking about God being a God who answers prayers. Since He’s been a God who has answered prayers in the past, He will answer them in the present and in the future.
With so much information available, particularly on the Web, I find I don’t make decisions without getting some info first. I used to write reviews regularly for Yelp and would rarely visit a restaurant without first consulting Yelp, unless I could get the First To Review. I usually don’t buy anything online if there are no reviews or an item is poorly reviewed. I’ll PriceGrab, I’ll Slickdeal, I’ll FatWallet and CamelCamelCamel to make sure I am getting the absolute best price.
And this is where my history with God comes in. I’ve been a Christian now for close to 16 years and in that time, in Web 2.0 speak, God has plenty of reviews. There’ve been times where He’s answered prayer; there’ve been times when He hasn’t. There’ve been great joys; there’ve been great pains. There’s been incredible nearness; there’s been seasons where I feel He couldn’t be further from me. There’s been unmerited favor; there’s been times where nothing seems to go right. There’ve been times the Bible has come alive; there’ve been times I couldn’t even tell you what I read right after I read it. There’ve been times where I felt like a beloved son; there’ve been times I’ve felt rejected. There’ve been times I’ve felt free; there’ve been times I’ve felt guilt and shame. By and large, the reviews are very positive, but there are those nagging negative reviews.
When it comes to Amazon, I tend to favor the item if there are many positive reviews, even if there are substantiated negative ones. In the past, the opposite has tended to be true in my relationship with God. Yes, God had done incredible things, but the negative times tended to stick out more than the positives.
But as my history with God has developed, I can tell you that He is tried and true. He told me He loved me and gave me hope when I was a depressed teenager. He told me He had a plan for me when I set off for college. He told me I was a good man and that He had a good woman for me to spend my life with. He told me He’d help me to be the best dad I could be and that I just had to follow His lead. Has my life with God been perfect? Far from it. But as I look back, I find that He is tried and true, and that gives me unshakeable hope.