What did this batch of cornbread muffins remind me about my relationships? A lot.
It should be noted that I followed the directions of this recipe to the letter. Every. Single. Step. Executed with utmost effort and care. I measured correctly, set the timer, used my best muffin pan. I even used the convection oven and adjusted the time.
It should also be noted that this is a batch of Marie Callender’s “just add water” corn bread muffins; this side dish should have been fool-proof.
Even though I followed the directions, paid attention to the process, and cared about the result, this FAILED. As I served these muffins to my family they all tried to make me feel better about the crumbly situation.
After we laughed about these “muffin-tops” throughout our dinner, I cleared the table and began to clean the muffin pan. I scrubbed and soaked to get each bottom unstuck and ended up discarding about half of each muffin. While the water washed away the muffin mishap, I realized that sometimes things in life don’t work out like we plan, they just fail. Sometimes, something in the process just goes sideways and the end result is not as intended. This is really hard to accept when you feel like you have done everything right and the end result is still a disaster, or maybe not a complete failure but half the result you were trying to reach (like my muffin tops).
My cornbread muffins were easily discarded and washed away without real concern, but what happens when it’s a relationship that’s stuck and crumbling? What happens when we experience a failure in our families, our friendships, or the body of Christ? What does God’s Word say about this?
- Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
- Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
- 1 Peter 4:8 “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
- Proverbs 17:17: “A friend is always loyal (and loves at all times), and a brother born to help in time of need.”
God’s Word calls us to peace, forgiveness, kindness, patience, to show deep love, to be loyal, and to love at all times. This is His will for us, and He calls us to pour out to others what is poured in to us through our relationship with Christ.
As we soak in Jesus, we are filled so we can pour out His fruit to others. I wish this was easy.
Last week, in yet another high point of my household, after what felt like hours upon hours of trying to get my son to do his school work, I threatened to send him to a special school, away from all of his friends if he didn’t read his assignment. (I know, an A+ parenting moment. Now instead of just delivering meals to me you will likely want to give me parenting advice—the struggle is real my friends). This was actually a really hard day for me and a major failure in my communication with my son. I felt horrible for what I had said, the minute I had said it.
I had reacted out of frustration and anger. That said, I had a choice. I could let the self-condemnation come and soak in, or I could choose to correct the relationship. Making the choice to stay engaged and connected to my little guy opened up the conversation of how hard this is for him and for me. We talked, prayed, I apologized and I was able to share my heart with him.
God’s way and will is for reconciliation, redemption, and a restart; full of peace, forgiveness, kindness and love. By God’s grace I remembered His Word and His way. Still the choice was mine…This could have been a point of crumbling.
As I think about all my close relationships, they have all had high points and they all have had low points. Sometimes, I recognize where I went wrong to cause the crumble or I see my part that led to us feeling stuck; yet, sometimes it feels like I followed the directions and paid close attention yet there is still a “fail”.
In those moments, I need to remember when God calls His believers to something, He enables and equips us to fulfill the call.
It may not be clear how He is enabling us or how He is equipping us, but He is there. He is calling us, as His children, to stay engaged and connected with each other. When we stick to His plan and work through things even after a failure, it testifies to the to the greatness of God because in our humanness it often feels impossible. Our love for others is the platform and plan for His love to shine throughout this world. So, we have to choose to keep trying, to not be stifled by failure and to not disengage in our relationships. Stay engaged. Stay Connected. Keep trying. It is His will. It is good. It brings glory to Jesus.
“May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20)
Do you struggle with staying connected and engaged in your relationships following a sticking point, crumble or failure? How has God’s Word encouraged you to stay engaged? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for sharing!
Join me, Joy and Laurie Thursday afternoons at 2:30pm on 93.9 KPDQ and Sunday mornings at 11:30am on True Talk 800. Each week we explore God’s Word and discuss practical ways we can live for the joy of it in our homes, relationships and community. Can’t join us live? Go to joyofit.org for the podcast or subscribe on iTunes.
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