A Lesson from Pancakes

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14 NIV)


Six-year-old David decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents some pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon. He pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister. To his dismay, it slipped from his hands spilling all over the floor. Undaunted, he scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his small hands. He mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar. He was leaving a floury trail on the floor which, by now, had a few tracks left by his kitten.

David was covered with flour and getting more and more frustrated. He desperately wanted to do something special for Mom and Dad, but things were not working out like he had planned. In addition, he didn’t know what to do next. Should he put it all in the oven or put it on the stove. As a matter of fact, he didn’t know how the stove worked!

As he was pondering all this, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. One of his kittens was in the bowl, front paws buried in dough, lapping up the watery mix. Panicking, he reached over the counter to push her away. The open egg carton was sitting precariously close to the edge of the counter. His elbow bumped the carton.  Eggs began to plunge to the floor, like paratroopers pouring out the door of their aircraft. Crack! Splat! Splat! Crack! He watched in frozen horror as each egg plunged to its messy death.

He quickly crawled down from the chair and frantically tried to clean up this monumental mess. Suddenly, his feet went out from under him as he slipped on the egg-slick floor. He sat there; his pajamas covered with a white, sticky mess and felt the sting of tears welling in his eyes. Just then, he saw his dad standing in the kitchen door. Tears began to flow freely from David’s eyes. The shame and embarrassment he felt seemed overwhelming. All he wanted was to do something special, something good for his parents, but all he managed to do was make a dreadful mess.

David was sure he would get a terrible scolding to match the terrible mess he had made of Mom’s kitchen. His dad must have been furious! David might even get a spanking. However, Dad just stood there for a moment watching his son sitting there in the midst of the doughy chaos. He walked through the mess, picked up his grief-stricken son, buried his frail little body in his arms and just held him for a while, loving on him! He didn’t care that his own pajamas were now white and sticky. All he cared about was David, the son he treasured. All that mattered to him was comforting his little boy.

That’s how God feels about us. Often, we try to do something good in life, something special, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we hurt someone we love. We lose a job or maybe even our health.

Then we sit there in the midst of faded hopes and broken dreams with tears stinging our eyes and think, “What’s the use? I’ve tried so hard to do the right thing. I’ve tried to make something special out of my marriage, my home, my career…my life. But all I did was make a big mess! God must be furious with me. I’m in for a terrible scolding.”

That’s when God picks us up, wraps us in his big arms, holding our tear-stained face to his chest and comforts us. He assures us that nothing has changed. God still loves us and forgives us, no matter how big the mess. He reminds us that there’s no mess too big for him to handle. God knows our hearts. He knows our sincerity and, furthermore, God knows that messes we make come as a result of us trying.

Just because you might make a mess don’t stop trying to make pancakes for God or for others. Sooner or later, you’ll start getting it right. And then…you’ll be glad you tried.

My misdeeds
All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They’re not a pretty sight to see
But they’re wiped away
By a mighty wave
A mighty wave, mighty wave

They’re all behind you
They’ll never find you
They’re on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten
They’re on the bottom
Of the ocean floor *

* Ocean Floor by Audio Adrenaline from their album entitled Lift. 2003 Forefront / Emd

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