My Amazing Grace was going to make some amazing Moravian Brandy Snaps, a crispy cookie made with molasses, not brandy.
Her project sat and waited for me while I ran to the store for molasses. Unfortunately, I don't have that gift of buying only what is on my list. I grabbed a few things that I needed for Christmas baking and a few things for dinner. My prize was finding canned rings of pineapples for $1 to dehydrate, so I threw them in the cart.
As I approached the front of the store, I deliberately avoided the self-check station. I decided I wanted someone to take care of me. I wanted someone to bag my groceries and put them in my cart. I've been so busy with holiday cooking, cleaning, shopping and planning, I opted for some pampering.
I loaded the groceries onto the conveyor belt, then looked into the face of a new cashier. A young cashier. A young, male cashier. I was doubting him from the moment he scanned my first item. I watched carefully, wondering how far into his training he was.
He seemed to be doing fine, so I pushed aside my learned grocal prejudice for young males, and rushed home, knowing Grace was still waiting for the molasses.
Jon carried the groceries in from the car. He came in with The Look. I knew something was wrong before the words left his mouth.
New Mr. Cashier decided the molasses was too lonely in the bag all by its little ol' self, so he included three cans of pineapple, a jar of pepper jelly, and a few blocks of cream cheese in an extra thin plastic bag.
The molasses never had a chance.
I sent someone else back to the store for another jar, while I ran my fingers through the goo over and over, trying to pick up all the glass shards.
Jon finished the cleaning job. When the second jar of molasses arrived, Grace finished the cookies.
As we dealt with the situation, I knew the molasses was just another test, another little trial, another little way to let our faith prove bigger than our frustration.
James 1:3 tells us "that the testing of your faith produces patience."
I remember as a 18 year-old new Christian diligently praying for patience. I prayed in faith and woke up the next morning, expecting to be a patient person. Instead, I had a horrible day. At the end of the day, I came home tired, crabby and frustrated. I talked it over with my roomate, Julia, and the Lord helped us to understand that the trials were to produce the patience. He couldn't just GIVE it out, it had to be earned and learned.
Now I understand and appreciate the benefit of trials to a believer, but I still think that next time I feel the need for some pampering, I am going to just get my nails done like normal women.