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Sweet Apple Pie and the Sweet Grace of God

My sister has been pushing me to bake a pie for awhile now, because of her pie cravings. We had a bunch of apples left, so I began the process of making delicious apple pie.
Everything was going smoothly–the apples were fresh, sweet, and slightly tart, the dough was rolled evenly, the filling had the right amount of sweetness. The pie went into the oven, and it began to bake…
Upon ten – twenty minutes of baking, I begin to smell smoke. I’m not sure what it is but when I approach the kitchen, the smell of smoke permeates the air. I quickly opened the oven, to discover a finely baking apple pie, but a ton of smoke. I immediately closed the oven door, and I begin to worry about the possibility of the smoke setting off a fire alarm. All these different thoughts ran through my head–anxiety and all sorts of fears pervaded my mind. With 15 minutes left, I let the oven continue to bake the apple pie, and I waited and waited and waited–apprehensive.
After 15 minutes, I knew I needed to take the pie out, but I was worried about all the smoke that would escape. At that moment, silently but swiftly, my dad jumped up from the couch and brought our gigantic fan. As we opened the oven door, the gigantic fan blew air into the oven, dispersing a lot of the smoke.
Out came a deliciously cooked apple pie.
Rather than being glad that the pie came out well, I was a bit worried that my parents would get angry since I could have put us all in a dangerous situation. But, as the gigantic fan blew cool air into the oven–all smoke was gone and all that was left was the source of all the smoke. Beneath the oven rack was some juices or oils from previous baking, which I had forgotten to clean up. It was all burnt and it left smears of black, burnt matter on the base of the oven. At that moment, I thought about the impending reprimand that I would be hearing from my dad… but amidst all those thoughts, my dad had already began cleaning the oven.
After he cleaned the oven, he simply but gently told me to clean the oven after I used it, and then we all enjoyed a delicious (slightly smoky) slice of apple pie.

This situation made me think about how we are with Jesus. Sometimes, we plan our every steps to complete something on our agenda. Everything seems like it’s going smoothly, until there is a sudden impediment that leaves us confused, apprehensive, and a bit panicky. But God sees our fears, he sees our confusion, and sometimes He will allow us to struggle with that impediment so that we can learn. Other times, out of His unending and overflowing grace, He will swoop in at the most critical moment, and salvage us from our struggles. Even when the impediments are due to our flaws, our insufficiency, or our lack of knowledge, He helps us. Even when we are proceeding with our plan without thinking of God in any step of the way, He offers grace and He offers His helping hand. Whether it be a small struggle or incredibly difficult struggle, God offers grace. He offers His Helping Hand. And He disciplines out of love, rather than punishing us. It might seem silly to compare my pie situation with Jesus’s grace for us, but this event just reminded me that even in our smallest, silliest mistakes–to our largest, darkest mistakes, Jesus provides unending, overflowing, and unconditional grace.

Even though we fall so many times, God swoops in by picking us back up or administering to us the strength or wisdom to know how to pick ourselves up. How truly loved we are!

Anyways, here is the pie recipe if you all wanted to try it!

Pie Dough:
Original Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24094/butter-flaky-pie-crust/?internalSource=search%20result&referringContentType=search%20results
– Makes a 9 inch pan pie
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter iced, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water
1. Combine the salt and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water slowly, until the mixture turns into a ball!
2. Place in refrigerator for 4hours (minimum) to overnight.

Filling:
Original Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12682/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/?internalSource=search%20result&referringContentType=search%20results
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar (original recipe calls for 1/2 but I put 1/4 and it was sweet enough)
4 big, peeled, cored apples (original recipe calls for 8 but that’s way too much!)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour to make paste. Add water, brown sugar, and white sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let it simmer
3. Place the bottom crust onto your pan, and fill it with apples slices. I poured the sugar mixture over the apples (but recipe calls for you to do it after applying the top crust on).
4. Place top crust onto pie!
5. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, take the pie out. Then, with aluminum foil, wrap the crust to protect it from burning. At 350 degrees, put the pie back into the oven for 35-45 minutes until apples are soft. (I did 35 minutes).
6. I would place the pie back into the fridge for a couple hours so that the juices from the apple and the filling would solidify! But it’s up to you 😉
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