I love to bake. I create goodies for others to make them happy. And when I’m stressed, I go into the kitchen, grab a recipe, and lose myself in the process.

A new recipe popped up on my iPad for brownies. A favorite at any time. The recipe said to melt chocolate chips and butter together and while still warm, stir in the cocoa. The instructions went on to explain the process of putting the cocoa into the warm or hot mixture would help the cocoa to bloom.

I thought yeast needed to bloom. I know flowers bloom.

​I didn’t know cocoa would have a richer depth of taste if it bloomed.


The writer of the recipe was correct. The taste held a fullness that would make any chocolate hater change their mind. The texture was like pudding on the taste buds. Why?


Because the cocoa bloomed. Who knew? When exposed to the heat and stirred rapidly, the cocoa dissolves and releases all those dark-flavored particles of goodness. I’ve been baking with cocoa for years and didn’t know this. Blooming increases flavor and deepens the quality of the experience of eating.


Doesn’t this apply to so many areas of life? Bulbed flowers have to be in dark places before they can bloom. Carbon has to be exposed to pressure before becoming a diamond. These are just two examples.


So why do we expect daily life to be any different? I have a wonderful hand-drawn, painted picture of a brook with rocks on its banks. The water is so clear you can see the stones through the liquid and due to the colors and brushstrokes, it’s almost possible to hear the gurgling of the stream. The words written across the picture are: “The brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.”


I’ve witnessed the strength of a human when struggling to provide for their family, and health issues have weighed them down, and life seems unfair and storms seem to churn all around. These are the people who have stood tallest and had the most beautiful spirit.


When we allow God to use the most difficult circumstances in life to help us bloom, His beauty can shine through as we acknowledge His authority. He can take life’s most fragile moments and make us powerful witnesses to His grace and strength in and through us.

We may not enjoy the pressure, heating, or stirring needed to make us bloom. However, when we allow God to use the difficulty as He wants, others will enjoy the beauty developed through each hardship.


What causes me to bloom the brightest? Is it when the sun shines and life is good and easy? I wish life was like that but that’s not how God works.


He uses the darkest night to help us appreciate twinkling stars. God allows storms to strengthen tree roots and make flowers grow. He permits heated trials to teach us to rely on Him and learn to trust Him.


Some of the most beautiful people I know have gone through situations that would make most people run away and yet they’ve stood firm. In the process, the beauty of God grew richer each day as they remained holding on to God.


Where is God asking you to bloom today? Letting Him shine through you will allow beauty to deepen and grow. Bloom on, my friend.



Photo credit: Unsplash-Julian Hochgesang

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