As someone who greatly enjoys cooking, I have always wished I was one of those who-needs-instructions-let’s-just-throw-some-stuff-in-a-pot-and-see-what-happens kind of gal. Sadly, there is not an impulsive culinary bone in my body and I rarely stray from the recipe. One of the things I fear about going off the food preparation grid is screwing up the flavors. Intuitively knowing what spices will work well together is a true gift, and like all gifts it is God-given.

God is pretty good at the whole putting things together in just the right way thing. Just look at the world He has created, how the blue of the sky dotted with the white of the clouds sets off the green of the grass or what a first-rate job He did in designing all those animals, even the ones you have to examine very closely in order to truly appreciate.  And all of nature is full of the beauty of contrasting and accenting colors.

God’s greatest display of contrast is of course Himself. He is Father (strong and yet full of compassion), Son (a brother and yet a savior) and Spirit (mysterious and yet most closely known). Each person of God contrasts not only with Himself but with the other persons of the Godhead as well. As the three personalities of the Trinity, they are not opposites but rather perfect co-existing complements whose characteristics and “personalities” work together to achieve flawless completion.  Having been made in His image, we humans are made with similar complementary characteristics. He didn’t make us all the same but divided us into two separate genders; distinct and yet one.

While having a great appreciation for the unique qualities that make up both males and females of our kind, there are times when, frankly, I have doubts as to the wisdom of this division of the species. Recently, I suffered such doubts as Jim and I struggled to reach an agreement about the most efficient route to our travel destination. In exasperation I cried “Why do men ask you what to do just so they don’t have to make the decision and then criticize your logic after the fact?” to which Jim replied “Why do women continue to nag you even after they have gotten their way?” Despite my frustration, I had to admit we were both right. So why would God create creatures that are inescapably drawn to one another and yet find one another’s ways so very irritating? Seems like a recipe for disaster.

I suppose the answer lies in the fact that we are both reflective of the nature of God but also horribly warped in our current condition. In our original nature, we were meant to highlight one another’s strengths with the contrasts in our design. In our earthly state, sin has so twisted us that the places where we meet, rather than lining up as the earth meets the heavens, are all out of sorts and our differences irritate as much as they complement.

Still, even this irritation is not without it’s mercies. While I am sure we don’t take advantage of the opportunities as often as we should, each little rub is an opportunity for grace and patience. And one day, we will fellowship in complete harmony, truly reflecting the communion of the our great Creator—the perfect combination of flavors for all eternity.

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