I know I shouldn’t make them but the urge for a gooey, melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookie every couple of weeks is just too difficult to pass up. Because I make them so often, I know the recipe by heart. Over a course of time, I have learned that it isn’t just the ingredients that make the cookies scrumptious but it is the order that I place them into the mixing bowl. If I put in the flour too early in the process, the cookies just don’t come out with the texture that calls everyone back for more. I have also learned that the pan makes a difference as well as taking them out of the oven once the cookies are a light brown color.
Over a lifetime of making friends and maintaining close relationships, I have found keeping a good friendship intact is like making a chocolate chip cookie. The ingredients of having a couple of common strong interests and mixing it with respect and attention can lead to a special connectedness that is hard to find. It is not just the ingredients that makes a durable relationship but also the test of how it endures through the heat of tragedy and crisis.
My daughter had to have a scoop of the chocolate chip cookie dough. She was hungry and couldn’t wait for the cookie to come out of the oven. She seemed to enjoy the uncooked batter but once she bit into the cookie, her opinion of it drastically changed. She told me that batter was not anywhere as good as the hot fresh cookie.
Isn’t that the way it is with a really strong relationship? In the go lucky times of life, a friendship is fun and carefree. But once a heated crisis appears on the horizon, the relationship takes on an entirely new dimension.
This is exactly what it was like for Jesus and his disciple John. Jesus and his twelve disciples had been through three years of great ministry and the witnessing of incredible miracles. Life was exciting and full of hope. But when Jesus was arrested and tortured, all but this disciple abandoned him. And then as Jesus breathed his last breath, only John was left standing beside his mother.
I can’t even imagine how John must have felt when he saw his best friend hanging from the cross. His heart must have been torn apart to know that Jesus was leaving him. But what came next, truly demonstrated how much Jesus cared for this man as a brother.
John 19:25 states: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.”
So as I go back to baking my chocolate chip cookies and I place them in the oven, I know that heating the raw dough will create a perfect cookie. In the same manner, I know that as we go through life and endure hardships and tragedies, our relationships are also being refined. And ultimately we may receive a little glimpse of what eternity will be like with the best friend we could ever have. Jesus.