It all seems a bit complicated. After punching down the rising pizza dough and kneading it, the dough is further manhandled by the throwing it up in the air! It looks like an art designed to impress the onlooker. But in fact, this process of spinning it in the air creates the round shape and allows just enough airflow for easier handling. With this method, the dough retains more moisture making the crust softer.
In today’s verse, Paul is recounting some of the hardships he and Timothy had faced. At the beginning of the chapter and at the end, he says, “We do not lose heart.” It would have been completely understandable if they had! Paul had been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned and imprisoned for his faith. Being perplexed, he perhaps did not always understand the “why” behind what was happening. Yet, he remained confident that the pulling and stretching was producing something of value, forming the likeness of Jesus in him (verse 10).
When I am faced with hard times, I often feel perplexed. I usually cannot explain why the Lord allows certain difficulties in my life. But He promises that all the pulling and stretching will be producing a “weight of glory” one day (II Cor. 4:17). All that is painful or devestating is only a “light affliction” compared to what lies ahead. I can be confident that even when panicked and confused, He is in control and His control is good. How good of Him to reassure me!
Thank you Lord, that You use it all to make me more like You. Help me not to lose heart.