When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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How is the Christian life like a lemon meringue pie?

April 18, 2016

To me, the best part of making a lemon pie is the meringue. After whipping the egg whites with a mixer, adding vanilla and cream of tartar, I watch for small peaks to form. Then, I dip a generous portion into the pie and spread that. More and more of the glossy whipped froth goes on top of that until the whole pie is covered with the soft, cloud-like white substance.

But, now we come to my favorite part, that of playing gently in the meringue with a stainless knife as I swirl the soft whipped substance into a smooth texture over the pie. Then I use the knife to form a peak, then another peak, until the pie is covered with peaks and valleys. Cooking it in a hot oven allows the valleys to turn light brown and the peaks to turn an even darker brown. After the pie cools, I place it in the refrigerator so it can live up to its name: ice-box lemon meringue pie.

The Christian life reminds me of the meringue on a lemon pie. At first, I thought my Christian walk would be like playing in meringue; fun, adventurous, and exciting, like swirling around in beautiful white snow without any fears. After all, God had saved me and life would be good from then on. Right? Well, not exactly. My new life with God appeared to mimic the white, smooth, no-worries cream of that first coat of meringue. Eventually, however, the glossy whipped froth of my Christian life began to form peaks and valleys, until it became clear that this was the picture God had in mind all along; peaks followed by valleys. The whole picture of the finished meringue gave an accurate picture of the Christian life. 

In actuality, God loved me too much to leave me as smooth, flat meringue. I could never grow in Him that way. I would remain unchallenged, unchanging and static in my Christian growth unless the peaks and valleys came along. It is in the valleys that I learn how much I need the Lord; it is on the peaks that I look back down at where I came from, and am grateful. I love the peaks. But I must have the valleys. God is the only One who knows what I need, so I thank Him for the peaks and I praise Him in my valleys. Thanks be to God.

The Rev. B.J. Funk, associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald, has written a book with 50 devotionals on grief based on her personal experience. “Grief is not a Permanent Condition: 50 Devotionals to Help You Through the Grieving Process” points the reader to Jesus and the hope found in Him. Visit www.bjfunkgrief.com for more information and to order. Email Rev. Funk at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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