21 May 2013

Setting Sweets and Testing Trials

I love it when the Lord speaks to me through everyday events and nature’s laws.

This past Saturday Heidi-Mari and I attended another Lindt Chocolate course. I treasure these girly days with my daughter, enjoying quality time together, sharing in her passion for chocolate and pastries. 

Saturday’s course was on the making of old fashioned sweets.  I didn’t spend much time on studying what products we would make, I only picked up the word, Turkey’s Delight and that was more than enough motivation to attend the course. But to my surprise, there was so much more. We made Vanilla & Amarula caramels, Green apple taffy, Parisian gums, Marshmallow knots and Lokoum rosewater Turkish delight.

In the making of all these old fashioned sweets it is most important to condense the fats in the liquid, to allow setting, and this is accomplished by cooking the ingredients to temperatures up to 140 degrees C! 

Often one half of the ingredients is mixed and boiled to a certain temperature, then the rest of the ingredients are added, resulting in the temperature to drop considerably and then it is cooked again to a temperature above 115 degrees C or more.  

The final temperature of cooking, just before it is poured out to set, must be measured very accurately and will influence the end product considerably.  If the pastry chef wants the end product to be a bit softer than usual, he will drop the end temperature with one or two degrees. If he wants the end product to be a bit firmer, he might increase the final temperature with one or two degrees.  

He also have to take in account sea level and air pressure. At the coast the temperature will be about 5 degrees lower than in the midlands of a continent.  

I was fascinated by these bits of information and very much amazed at the science behind making old fashioned sweets. As I pondered on these facts, I recognized the connection between the process sweets has to go through, exposure to intense heat, to create a fine end product and the way the Lord work with each of us to present us perfect and complete, lacking nothing on His return.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 1 Pet 1:6-7


"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction."
Isaiah 48:10


2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

The testing of our faith, through trials and hardship.

Oh, how I would give anything to prevent myself and my loved ones to go through trials. 

But James, as well as Peter, close friends and disciples of Jesus, isn’t unfamiliar with trials and tribulations or the purpose thereof. They link trials and tribulations with the testing of our faith, like fire refine gold. 

Peter, the one who betrayed Jesus on the night He was crucified, emphasised the necessity of trials to produce patience, and patience to perfect and complete us, lacking nothing, becoming more holy.  

Interesting that we Christians often presume that God will prevent us from hardship and make life easy on us.  Even more sad, we often try to opt out of tiring situations and compromise for an easy way out, instead of allowing difficult situations to stretch our trust and faith in our loving, trustworthy God. After all He doesn’t test our faith for Himself, but for us, so we can know how far we can trust God and every time trust a bit more. 

And this bring me to my own experience of being a mother. Being a mother is a journey filled with trials and tribulations, hardship and self sacrificing!  

Often when this journey becomes tiresome, I remember Timothy’s words":

“...she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”  1 Timothy 2:15

I cannot think of another journey that would purify my faith, like that of being a mother. Nothing about being a devoted mother is easy. It is like being a mixture of ingredients, all together cooking at 135 degrees C. And all the unnecessary moisture is evaporating in the air, condensing what is needed to make a fine product. 

All the sleepless nights taking care of a baby or sick child; crazy days cleaning up after toddlers; overwhelming lonesome days with only little ones to take care off, with little to show for the day; the never years - never enough money, never enough time, never enough sleep; busy years, hectic and impossible, filled with hours of training foolish and immature children over and over again, with seemingly no progress; days, weeks, years going by, just doing the same old thing every day.  These years of sacrificially serving my family, are the years that form me as the bride of Christ, not having spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. 

Dear Mother, we don’t become the beautiful bride of Christ in a comfort zone. We need heat, purifying fire to refine us from impurities like impatience, selfishness, self centeredness, bitterness, un-forgiveness, unholiness.

Will you trust God that He will use just the right temperature to purify you? 

Will you trust Him that He knows about your trials and He will not prolong it one hour longer than necessary? Will you stop comparing yourself to another friend or mother, assuming their trials are less tiring than yours? 

Will you stop complaining against the heat He is using to refine you and allow patience to have its perfect work in you? 

That you may be perfect, complete, lacking nothing and become more precious than gold that perishes.

Much love


Urban Homestead South Africa said...

So true Linnie. We are purified as silver over and over in the faithful Father's crucible.

Anna Peach said...

Thank you Linnie.
I always enjoy reading your posts.
So True.
Much love to all the family.
(looking forward to Wimbledon!!& praying for good weather)

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