Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Have you ever been Chopped?

One of my favorite culinary TV shows is entitled, "Chopped." The concept of the television show is for skilled and professional chefs from around the world to come together and display how well they can cook and create under pressure with a surprise basket filled with ingredients.

At the end of each competitive segment, the judges have to select a chef that can not advance and must be "chopped."

My question for you is, "Have you ever been chopped?" Have you ever been fired? Excluded? Displaced? Have you ever experienced a broken heart? Have you ever been asked to leave a relationship that you really wanted in business, ministry, in the community or in your sphere of interest and influence?

We all have experienced one or more of those categories. It never feels good to be chopped knowingly or unknowingly.

What always baffles and encourages me is when I see people on the TV show being chopped and asked to leave the set immediately (which is always devastating) and yet, upon the decision for them to be terminated from the kitchen, many of them thank the judges joyfully for the opportunity and leave simply grateful.

This reminds me of how God has designed the human experience. He has ordained certain life experiences that we will face
because He knows that being chopped may be difficult for us but will be worked out for our good. If we really believe that Romans 8:28 is true, we must accept that even when life chops us,  it is still being worked out in our favor. He is strengthening our testimony, growing our faith, teaching us humility, showing us that value does not come in tasks or titles but in Him and reminding us that failure is not final.
He is also trying to help us to learn to be grateful even in being tested, terminated or tried. We, in essence, become more like Christ who endured the cross.

What surprise basket in life have you been given and asked to use under pressure? God is creating men and women in life's kitchen that can "cook" up faith, hope, perseverance, authenticity and resiliently rise to the occasion even when they've been chopped.

We must have confidence that we are always victorious in Him.
Without Queen Vashti's moment of being "chopped," we never would have the biblical reminder that women do not have to allow themselves to be disrespected and never have to agree to stay in a position that is exploiting.
We also have learned in Esther's story that God can and will raise up other "queens" amongst us to fulfill His plans for His people for such a time as this.
Without Joseph's story that looked like his destiny was being "chopped," by his jealous brothers, we never would have seen God take him from the pit to the palace into a place of prominence.
"You intended to harm me but God meant it for my good." (Genesis 50:20.)

Being chopped has its benefits. We get a front row seat to the supernatural hand and provision of God for His children and continue to be conformed into His image.
Victory is ours!

You may feel disappointed because you were not allowed to go to the next round but this could be the springboard for your next level. Jesus went down in the grave and came back up in victory over death. Go down to go up.

Today, take a moment and thank God that He loves us so much that He allows us experiences to be chopped and simply tell him thank you for this opportunity.

Dear Lord, thank you for breaking us to better us. We praise you for hurts that have helped and for choosing us to endure hardship, insults, and misunderstandings. Make us more like you.
Thank you for taking each of us from one level of faith to another by way of the chopping block.