I’ve written before about how much I love cooking, and love to watch the cooking shows on TV – especially the competition programs.   But I didn’t expect a recent episode of Top Chef Masters to give such a profound life lesson.

Renowned chef Carmen Gonzales had “disaster” written all over her attempt at competition cooking last week.  She cut her finger open with a knife.  She forgot her main dish on the other side of town during the competition event.  While she went back to retrieve the overlooked food, the other chefs (even though they were her competitors)  tried to help her by cooking another part of her dish for her in her absence.  Helpful in theory, yes.   Helpful in reality – though well meaning, they burned her yucca and she couldn’t use it.  When she finally got back with her lag-behind Oyster Stew, she didn’t even know if she could serve it.  She had lost valuable prep time, and had lost another essential component of her dish – the yucca.  She toyed with the idea of just dropping out of the competition.  But instead, she did the best she could with what she had left.  She threw her heart into it, made a much simpler dish than she had originally planned, and the result of her “disaster” was that she ended up winning the whole thing.  Needless to say, she was speechless. 

In real life, turning seeming disaster into victory is God’s specialty.  Bible characters such as Joseph and Ruth (just to name a few) could certainly attest to that.  And we can too.  When faced with what appears to be a “disaster”, we might just have to look around at what we have left,  stop grieving over the loss of Plan A, and move forward with a new one.  

And that new plan might just be the one that God meant for us all along.

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.               Genesis 50:20

“…who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end”   Deuteronomy 8:16

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