I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
I learned the hard way that it’s possible to over-whip whipping cream. Until the day it happened I didn’t understand the risks. I poured heavy cream into the bowl of my stand mixer then set it on high speed and walked away to work on something else. When I came back, I found. . .
Oh, not quite like the ones you see in the photo above. . .but close. I had a broken, gloppy mess that didn’t even remotely look like fluffy whipped cream.
Apparently, when you beat cream too long the foam breaks down. The milk fat and air pockets simply aren’t stable anymore. They separate. They can’t take the excessive beating.
Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.
We all tend to beat ourselves up from time to time. We make mistakes and can’t seem to get past them. We wish we’d done things differently. We have regrets.
So, we replay the situation over and over again in our imaginations. We see ourselves as losers. We get down in the dumps. We wonder if we can start again, if there’s any saving the broken mess we’ve created.
I’ve been down this road more times than I can count.
I don’t know about you, but I’m often disappointed with myself. I feel like I’m not good enough. I struggle with how others view me.
This is particularly true when it comes to weight struggles, something I’ve battled my entire adult life.
I gain, I lose, I gain, I lose. It’s embarrassing, particularly since it’s a problem I can’t hide from others. This brings shame. And with shame comes self-loathing and a l-o-t of beating myself up. . .which only leads to more over-eating. Talk about a vicious cycle!
Beating yourself up knocks the air out.
Like that whipping cream, I usually come out of these experiences feeling deflated and hopeless.
Maybe you’ve been there, too.
Maybe there’s an area of your life where you struggle. You can’t seem to get it under control. Perhaps you have a temper. Or you lack patience.
Maybe you can’t seem to tame your tongue. You enjoy gossiping about others.
Or, perhaps you battle an addiction of some sort. You give in to the temptation, even after promising yourself you won’t. Then, afterwards, you beat yourself up:
“Why can’t I get my act together? Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again? I thought I was past this!”
Only, the beating just makes things worse. You end up feeling broken and deflated.
The Broken Cream is Fixable.
Even after over-whipping heavy cream, there is a remedy. Take more heavy cream from the fridge and pour it into the gloppy mixture. (Make sure it’s nice and cold!) Then slowly work your beaters until the broken cream is stable once again. Before long you’ll have a lovely, fluffy bowl of soft, luscious whipped cream, just what you were aiming for!
In essence, the new cream takes the beating for the old cream.
Isn’t that just what Jesus did for us? He took our shame, our pain, our regrets, and carried the load for all of us. He took our brokenness and made us whole once again. At our lowest point, He poured Himself out for us.
I don’t know what you’re struggling with today, but I do know that hope is never lost.
The next time you beat yourself senseless, the next time you feel there’s no hope because you’re such a hot, broken mess, remember: He’s right there, ready to fix what is broken. He can take your deflated situation and spring it to life once again.
Don’t beat yourself up, my friend. Instead, allow Him to pick you up, dust you off. . .and point you toward a future filled with wholeness, hope, and peace.
Jesus, today I acknowledge the areas where I’ve gotten off-course and ask for Your forgiveness. I give my shame and regret to You. Thank You for pouring Yourself out so that I can be healed and whole, set free from the past. Amen.