When I make a cake, I mix the batter, pour it into a greased and floured pan, shove it in the oven, set the timer, and walk away. I don’t pull up a chair, sit next to the oven, and stare at the batter hoping to see a transformation. I don’t open the oven door until the final part of the baking process because doing so can decrease the oven’s temperature and ruin the cake by causing it to fall.
When I leave the cake in the oven alone, I demonstrate faith that the heat in the oven will do its job.
This metaphor pertains to a situation in my life that seems impossible. God has assured me many times as I’ve studied his Word that he will deal with it. But I insist upon examining the circumstance, hoping to see evidence of a change. Unfortunately, this doesn’t speak well for my faith.
I need to quit opening the oven door.
Like the chemical changes that occur in the batter during cake baking, God’s work isn’t always easy to see. Constant monitoring is exhausting and dangerous because it can cause us to become impatient, to step ahead of God, and to interfere with the work he is doing. It’s better to believe and trust God for the final outcome while going about our lives. In fact, there is an example in Luke chapter one of how we should respond with faith when God tells us something that seems impossible.
After the angel told Mary she was the one who would bear God’s son even though she was a virgin, she responded with belief (Luke 1:38). Later, Mary visited her relative Elizabeth, who in her old age was expecting her first child. Elizabeth rejoiced and said, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished (Luke 1:45, NIV 1984)!”
When we stop opening the oven door and choose to trust what the Lord is doing in our lives, we demonstrate faith. We can be blessed with peace and joy because we have our eyes on the Lord instead of on our circumstances.