So I decided to step out on a ledge the other night and make Ree Drummond's "Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package" and MY-OH-MY how wonderful it was! I have never heard of cooking pasta in a foil packet before! You half-cook your noodles and sauce, throw in some shrimp at the end and then pour it all together in a perfect little aluminum pouch to seal in all of the flavors. Then the shrimp cook and the juice from the shrimp and tomato sauce embeds itself in the noodles as they cook, and it becomes this wonderful blend of tasty tomatoes and parsley and shrimp...mmm I could eat the leftovers for breakfast they were so tasty! I'm not sure if my pic captures the pure beauty of this dish!! I began to think...why isn't everything cooked this way? Why would we not want a world filled with amazing married flavors all packed into one neat little package?
Then I opened up The Good Book, and bear with me, it might be a stretch--I began thinking, can we describe God in this way?? Can he be an amazing pouch of every thing that is wonderful? He is Mighty, All powerful, Alpha, Omega, Beginning and the End, right?
"But the Angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How will this be," Mary asked the Angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered...."Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:30-37
So here is Mary, a normal gal like you and me, doubting that she could have found such favor in His eyes, and doubting (understandably) the anatomy of the ordeal! But God places Elizabeth's story in the Bible right before the Angel comes to Mary so that He can show her--if I can impregnate a very old woman who has been barren for years, surely I can impregnate you with the Holy Spirit. And then the Angel says the obvious to Mary--that we OFTEN forget: "For Nothing is impossible with God." So this answers my question--God cannot be put in a "foil packet". We can't just put Him away on a shelf until we are ready for Him. We can't expect there to be boundaries holding God in to only the "church" and "appropriate" aspects of our lives. There are times in our lives when there are so many things that we think God doesn't want to have the time to deal with--our work bonuses, where our children should go to school, saving the heart of even the most stubborn and scientific of Atheists....but NOTHING, and He means NOTHING, is impossible with God. So we can't save God for when we are ready for him--when the timer on the oven goes off--we need to look for Him all day everyday in the circumstances He places in front of us and decide: How can my God find favor in me?
He is Mighty, All powerful, Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End, but he is also so much MORE. Those words only begin to describe God and all that He can do! If He can find favor in a young virgin sinner gal to carry His Son, what then will he find favor for us to do? Has he called us to do something, take a leap that we are too afraid to take? Or that we think is out of God's realm? Can we trust the path He gives us, like Mary, in her response?
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered, " May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38