Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Sweet and the Sour

Time has really flown this first two weeks of 2014.  As I look toward the year ahead, I have no idea what all the year holds. Will it be a year full of good things? Pleasant things? Exciting things? Will there be sadness? Struggle? Disappointment? I don't know. As I thought about the mixture of possibilities that 2014 might hold, I recalled a short piece that I wrote for my newsletter back in August 2006 when Rachel was ten months old. Please allow me to share it with you today.


Rachel’s first taste of yogurt produced an interesting expression on her little face.  I put a spoonful of the plain, unflavored yogurt into her mouth.  She puckered her lips, and looked at me with an accusing expression as if to say, “What in the world do you think you are giving me?!?”  She didn’t spit it out, though.  She got a good taste of it, swallowed it...then eagerly opened her mouth for more.  I almost couldn’t spoon it in fast enough.  Now, when she is less than enthusiastic about her breakfast, I mix a bit of sour yogurt with her sweet bananas making the whole meal much more inviting.

I think that sometimes, perhaps often, God allows things, or puts things into our lives that cause us to “pucker our lips”, spiritually speaking, and ask, “Why are you giving me that?”  Things that are difficult, disappointing, frustrating, or just plain directed at us out of spite can be very “sour things to swallow”.  I am coming to realize, though, that just because something I experience seems a bit “sour”, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  The proper balance of sweet and sour in a recipe makes for a delicious dish.  In the same way, God often mixes “sweet” and “sour” things in our lives to produce something far more “delicious” than either thing would be alone. 

Joseph learned this lesson in Egypt.  He had more than just a spoonful of “sour” fed to him, but in the end, by the time God had finished mixing all the ingredients, Joseph was able to say,

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Genesis 50:20a

Can I say the same?  Can you?


  1. Really good lesson for me right now. My blood family has been going through a really "sweet" period of life. We've always been close, but fell like we have never been closer. Meanwhile, my family-in-law is falling apart. I just had to send off a letter to my youngster sister-in-law telling her that we love her (even if it feels like nobody else in the family does). I hate being the "Patch-it-up-chappy"...it's bittersweet (if I continue your metaphor).

    1. And that photo is adorable. (I don't think I've ever said adorable about a child ever...).

    2. Bittersweet times are certainly not enjoyable, but I truly believe something good can come out of it. Praying. And by the way, I feel privileged that my child is the first one you've ever described as "adorable".


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