Over the Easter weekend, I had great plans for a blog post with what I hoped would be a great gluten hot cross bun recipe. I had come up with it a couple of weeks before Easter and, although I hadn’t written it down, I thought I could remember it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember it and three attempts to recreate it just resulted in a lot of wasted family time (my husband is an essential worker so we’re not seeing him much more than usual during the week), a lot of wasted precious flour and a lot of frustration. For the first time in months since my coeliac diagnosis last year, I ended up crying over the struggle to bake gluten free and my loss of the ease of gluten-full baking. I used to be able to come up with recipes for baking by myself that worked about 90 to 95% of the time. Now I felt adrift in a sea of occasional success and lots of failure. Providing nourishing meals for my family that are also easy and quick is just so much harder when one has to be gluten free. Baking gluten free was humbling me and challenging me about my loss of ability and loss of control over my life and the place food has in it.
After my moment of despair I started to think about Easter and hope. I realised I don’t need to drown in my struggles to live with coeliac disease because I have hope that God is using these struggles to grow me and sanctify me and make me more dependant on Him. When I reach the end of my own resources with dealing with coeliac disease and its impact on my life, I end up having to depend on God to keep going. I’m reminded that life is more than food (Luke 4: 23) and my worth is not dependant on my ability to bake or any other human measure of success. Through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection – exactly what I was specifically remembering over the Easter weekend – I have been adopted in God’s family and I can have confidence that the struggles and challenges of life are being used by God to grow me in Him. God loved me so much that He sent Jesus to die for me (John 3: 16) and therefore I have hope that there is a bigger thing going on when faced with trials.
My struggles with baking gluten free are minor compared to the struggles many are facing right now because of COVID-19. Many are now grieving, scared or anxious. A microscopic enemy reminds us how little control we have over life. If you haven’t already considered the hope that can be found by trusting in Jesus, I would encourage you to do so now in light of the pandemic facing the world. In Him there is hope beyond this life and its challenges, tragedies and struggles.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)