I’ve made tens of cakes in my thirty-something years. Ok, so that doesn’t sound so impressive, but I’ve made a lot. Over the years I’ve perfected the combination of flour and butter needed in the cake pans to ensure the layers pop out clean after baking. But, every once in a while, I get a stubborn layer that leaves chunks behind when the pan is turned upside down. I used to think the whole cake was ruined because of these missing pieces that leave giant holes in the cake left to be frosted. But, as any professional cake maker will tell you, frosting can fix anything! Frosting can make a tattered cake beautiful, covering the imperfections and filling in even the deepest holes. What once was battered and crumbled can be covered smooth and flawless.
This year, as I was making Jesus’ birthday cake, a Christmas Eve tradition in our house, I turned the pan over to pop out a cake layer and a big chunk was left behind, stubbornly adhered to the cake pan, settled in and comfortable right where it started, leaving a sizeable hole in the cake to be frosted.
There was a day that I would have considered this cake useless. There was a day when a disrupted plan would have derailed me altogether. But not today. Not for Jesus’ birthday cake. And I’ve learned over the years that my two tubs of frosting were more than enough to transform this mess of a cake. As I spread the chocolate frosting over the tattered cake, each labored stroke contributed to the cake’s overall transformation. Each swipe smoothed away more of the cake’s imperfections. Slowly, through intentional effort, strategic positioning, the frosting quickly turned this broken, torn sponge into a two-layer chocolate cake worthy of any magazine cover. Just like that.
And then it hit me. Aren’t we all just tattered cakes in desperate need of two tubs of frosting… maybe more? And, isn’t this what Jesus does for us all? Smears His perfection and grace all over us and makes us presentable to a Holy God. With each loving stroke, He fills in our emptiness, covers over our holes, presses the ugliness of our broken layers into beauty right before our eyes. And in the process, He shows us that brokenness doesn’t render us useless, that perfection isn’t required to be adorned with His robe of righteousness. In fact, His labor at Calvary assured us that all the ugliness in the world has no power over a victory already won, a grave already defeated, an enemy already put in his place – at His feet! This one is already settled… it’s us, it’s me that is easily convinced I have to earn my salvation. And it’s God who reminds me… I have a supply of frosting reserved just for your every imperfection – and I know exactly how much I will need to make you whole. There is no condemnation in Me. None. Rest, child. Rest in Me. I’ve got you covered.