I have a little ceramic shortbread pan that I bought at the Scottish Games one year. On it is the symbol of the Scottish people—the thistle.
When I mix the soft butter with vanilla, powdered sugar and flour I work with the dry mix until it forms a buttery ball.
I spray a bit of oil on the pan and pat the flattened ball carefully into the pan. From the center, I push out the dough with my fingers to the outside edges. The shortbread dough presses into the mold, and the dough takes the shape of the mold.
Prick with fork…
Then I bake the pan in a gentle oven (325) for 30 minutes.
It takes heat to mold.
I can’t see the imprint on the dough…not yet. All I can see are the fork pricks. When it is baked it turns golden brown, and then a ten-minute wait to pop it out of the pan.
The key is to cut the pieces while they are warm.
If not, they turn cold and brittle, and when cut, they break in all the wrong places.
If I did not bake the dough in the pan, it would still be dough. You would never see the imprint of the thistle. So I bake it and the dough keeps its shape.
It takes the firm shape of the mold.
Vanilla permeates the room, and I see a picture of surrender. God wants to mold me to his image, and when I am soft and willing…it is easy to follow his path for me. I want to be willing, but sometimes I try on my own. It comes by surrender. He presses me gently in his fashion, taking his time to do it right.
Shaped to his likeness…
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
–James 3:17, 18 NIV.
If I am distant from him, forget to talk to him, or ignore the Spirit speaking to me…I am cold and brittle. Whatever he teaches me will be painful, and the lesson will be long.
The image on the shortbread becomes twin-like to the image of the pan.
It is the same as a stamp when inked. It is the exact twin of the stamp itself. There is no indentation…
but twin-like just the same.
God puts his imprint on us when we become children of God and surrender to his mold, we become like his mold…like him.
We become a pattern of Christ in this messy world, where up seems down and we are continually shocked by offensive changes. But God is not. He waits…
When will he come and set things right? Isn’t this world messy enough? Don’t you and I wonder what He is waiting for when sin runs wild and seems to win? Does he shed great tears from heaven as he watches?
While we wonder and show impatience, his plan is working. There is one more day, one more soul to bring home…one more to imprint. One more unlikely one. One more…
He draws us and puts his mark on us. Then we are known by his love. I ask myself, in my itty bitty world…am I known by his love?
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1 NIV
Our name is imprinted on his hand… He has engraved us…
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
—Isaiah 49:16 NIV
However you want to view it, we are etched, cut, carved, chiseled, and ingrained in his palms. He is never going to forget you.
Did you ever wonder if God had fingerprints?
They would be entirely filled up with his children’s names…bought with a price.