“Anytime we look for fulfillment or happiness in anyone or anything other than God, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.” –Nancy Leigh deMoss
This principle has so much truth in it, it hurts. It hurts because I know that many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of seeking satisfaction, joy, attention, love, fulfillment, and what not from others than God.
Yesterday, I tried experimenting in the kitchen and made chocolate crinkles from scratch. I carefully followed the recipe, prepared the batter, and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours (as suggested in the recipe). However, after baking the first batch, the chocolate crinkles looked… weird.
My first disappointment that night: The powdered sugar didn’t coat the baked crinkle properly.
So, I tried to do different techniques in order to perfect the look of the chocolate crinkles. I made round and flat ones; chilled the dough more; and I even tried coating some pieces of dough once, and the others twice. Nonetheless, nothing worked. After baking a few more, the chocolate crinkles didn’t have that signature crinkle look that I was looking for.
My second disappointment that night: Earth-like chocolate crinkles with huge clumps of powdered sugar.
At that moment, I was tempted not to finish the batch of crinkles because I assumed that it would only be a waste of time and effort. I paused for a while and prayed to God. I asked Him if I was doing something wrong in the process. I didn’t hear an answer immediately, but because I didn’t want to waste the chocolate batter, I decided to finish what I started.
I took a break and asked my older brother (who was observing me from the start) to pray for me and my chocolates crinkles. By God’s grace, I read in the internet that it is advisable to freeze the crinkle dough before coating it with powdered sugar. So, I froze scoops of the chocolate crinkle dough for an hour and gave it another shot. However, when I opened the freezer door, the lock and lock container that I used for the dough fell on the floor and had a huge crack! (Sorry, mom. :( )
My third disappointment that night: Mom’s broken Lock and Lock container.
I felt bad and was again discouraged. But somehow, God kept on encouraging me to bake some more. I coated the frozen balls of crinkle dough with powdered sugar before baking them in the oven. With much anticipation and hope, I baked a batch of the chilled crinkles. And to my surprise, they came out looking worse! Hahaha.
My fourth disappointment that night: The Smurf-like crinkle and other weird-looking crinkles. Haha.
Instead of getting frustrated with the crinkles and with myself, I somehow found that moment funny. I was smiling and laughing by myself in the kitchen as I was telling God: “Lord, Kayo talaga o. Nakakatawa ito. Hahaha.” I realized that God was making me smile and was encouraging me in the midst of the disappointments that I was encountering that night. He was reminding me that He still was in control and that I didn’t need to fret about the disappointing crinkles.
I remembered Psalm 105:4, where it says: “Look to the Lord and His strength. Seek His face always.”
That night, I did have four disappointments while I was baking. But, God replaced them with four valuable lessons too:
- Disappointments humble us and help us see our weaknesses.
- Disappointments are opportunities for us to trust and depend on God more.
- Disappointments help us find joy and strength in Christ.
- Disappointments may cause us pain, but God uses them for our good and for His glory.
One of the reasons why we easily get discouraged when we have disappointments in life is because what we wanted to happen didn’t happen. And we forget that even if they didn’t happen, God still remains to be the same faithful, true, gracious, sovereign, and loving God.
Clearly, life is not about us. It’s all about God. And because His ways are definitely better than our ways, there really is no reason for us to stay disappointed.
It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,
“In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I decided to try one last time. Instead of making rounded scoops of frozen crinkles, I flattened the dough, coated it with powdered sugar, and baked them for a few minutes. By the grace of God, I was finally able to make chocolate crinkles that looked like chocolate crinkles!!! :) Woohoo!!
I realized that God could have let me bake the crinkles with ease. He is God. He can do anything. But, He chose not to, and I’m glad that He did. :)
The unique thing about the ‘crinkle look’ is that the powdered sugar cracks all around the crinkle and it shows us what’s inside the cookie (fudgy chocolate)! I found it interesting because it had a similarity to what I learned that night: The ‘sugar cracks’ reminded me of disappointments in life. And just like how the fudgy chocolate cookie is revealed when the sugar cracks, these disappointments help show what’s inside of our hearts too.
What is inside of our hearts?
How do we react when we get disappointed with something or someone?
I pray that Christ would always be at the center of our hearts. :)
Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” (An example of God’s sovereignty in the midst of disappointments.)
Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)