I rushed home one day last week looking forward to cooking supper—dinner that is for my northern friends. I had planned to make lasagna the day before, but got home too late. I was starving, moving like a whirlwind around the kitchen. I browned beef, stirred in spices, mixed several cheeses and boiled noodles. The mouth-watering aroma filled the air. I then carefully started the layering process—meat, three noodles, cheese. Repeat… meat, three noodles, cheese. Repeat…meat, three noodles, cheese. Repeat…meat, two noodles…. Wait. What? Where’s the other noodle? “GREAT, I’m a day late and a noodle short,” I giggled. I scooted the two noodles toward the middle, topped with cheese and then put it in the oven.
My giggle turned to tears as I thought, “That’s the story of my life. Always a day late and a noodle short.” So many situations in my life could be summed up as “Do Re Me Fa So La Ti……. Ti….” and never reached “Do.” Almost, but not quite there. Good, but not quite good enough. For example, that degree that’s in reach, but lacks general ed credits. That ability to play music, but not being able to read it. And the list could go on. But—that’s okay! I’m the Queen of improvise. I’m the master of cover-ups and I’m especially skilled at making do. Not that I’m dishonest, but I’m pretty sly with a transpose button! Just like I stretched, pulled and covered the flaw in the pan of lasagna, I get by pretty well faking and working around deficiencies. Deep down though, I know I lack and sometimes that messes with my security and puts a damper on my joy.
Ugg. Lack. I don’t like that word, do you? It’s almost worse than the word defeated. It is so frustrating to be so close and not cross the finish line. It reminds me of winter weather in the South. In North Georgia, we get 33 degrees and cold rain and bemoan our neighbors who get 32 and snow. Lack. Ugg. The thought of lacking in any way just sort of makes you want to drop your head. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe if we always measured up in every way, we wouldn’t have to depend on God. Maybe if we were sufficient, we wouldn’t give God any glory.
I took the less than perfect dish out of the oven and guess what? No one would have known a noodle was missing! It was beautiful! And, it was hands-down the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted in my life! My husband will vouch for that. We ate every single bite of that 13×9 pan— just the two of us. Not in one sitting, of course, but in a few days. Nothing, not one bite was wasted. While Hubby washed the empty dish, the Lord reminded me that He doesn’t waste a thing either. I’m so glad I didn’t throw the lasagna out just because it was lacking one single noodle. And I’m really glad God doesn’t throw me out too.
Friends, when we offer all we are and all we have to Jesus—shortcomings and all, He makes it sufficient for His work and glory. None of us measure up in all things, in all ways for all times. Does that mean we sit down and declare we’re not worthy or that we’re not good enough to be used by God? God has always and will continue to do His work through frail, weak, flawed, not good enough people. Every single hero in Scripture was “less-than” in some way. Lacking! And just like I had to do with that pan of lasagna, we have to make-do with what we’ve got and offer it to Jesus. He will make sure it will be used for the benefit of others and nothing will go to waste. And don’t forget, even though He knows you’re lacking, He still thinks you’re a a work of art! “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).