Recently I was cooking dinner when my tall, handsome 13 year old son Aaron followed the smell of food into the kitchen and asked the question he asks me every night... "what's for dinner?" I told him on the menu was chicken, brown rice and salad. "Chicken?", he questioned in a disappointing tone of voice as he reached into the fridge for the package of hot dogs.
Aaron is definitely the pickiest eater in our family of five, but it hasn't always been like that. When he was not quite 2 years old, we stayed in this apartment that had a tiny kitchen. It didn't matter what I would be making, he'd come into my small cooking space and wrap his arms around my leg. He would then look up at me with his big, dark brown eyes and in the cutest voice he'd say, "you're a good cooker mom".
It didn't matter to my little guy if I was making dinner out of a box or preparing a gourmet meal, to him I was a "good cooker." His compliment always made me feel so good. Now he's taller than I am, would worry me if he wrapped himself around my leg and usually complains about what I have on the stove.
Over the years, my son's likes and dislikes for what I cook has changed. Green beans used to be his favorite vegetable, and now the only green food he'll eat is a salad. He used to love pork chops and will now go on a hunger strike if I make them. If it were up to him, we'd be eating a Mexican dish every night. According to his taste buds I no longer meet the qualifications needed to be called "Good Cooker".
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
To Jesus, it doesn't matter how bad we mess up in our life, His love for us is unconditional. It doesn't matter what we have cooking on the stove of life, His love for us remains the same. When we choose to create our own recipes instead of following what is in the Holy Cook Book, better known as the Bible, we create such a mess in the kitchen, but He still loves us and even helps us clean it up. Fortunately for us, He doesn't base His love for us on our actions.
We may have an affair baking, gossip frying, or even pride simmering on our stove. Whatever it is that we have cooking on our stove of life, Jesus loves us. He may not like it, but He still loves us.
The day we decide to follow the recipe for life that Jesus has created for us, is when our Head Chef wraps His arms around us and with love says, "You're a good cooker."
How I long for the days of looking down and hearing praises from my toddler's lips, but I also love looking up and seeing a smile of approval on my teenager's face on Mexican night. People change, taste buds change, but thankfully, Jesus never does and never will.
Lord, thank You for your five course meal of mercy, patience, grace, forgiveness and enduring love that You offer to me daily. May I choose to fill my recipe box with your recipes for my life and not substitute a single ingredient.