So I did this THING.
I made my own butter.
Guys, to say that this project created a mess is the understatement of the year. I think I am still cleaning milk and milk solids from every conceivable crevice in my kitchen. However, the results are simply wonderful.
Has the Lord been making butter in your life?
If you are scratching your head right now and wondering what I am talking about, let me translate. It starts something like this. “Hey sweet girl. You know, you are pretty wonderful there as my super healthy milk. However, what if we refine you a bit?”
You see, milk is great, but it has to be refrigerated –at least in America. It is delicate and when exposed to heat or other stresses, it degrades–just ask any member of the 4-H milk grading team. However, butter can be left out at room temperature. When exposed to stresses, it can actually improve. Butter, as the commercial tells us, is better.
So, how do you make butter?
Step 1–Beat it. Churn it. Introduce force to separate the buttermilk from the butterfat. In my case, I put it in my kitchenaid mixer, covered it with a towel and then started the mixer on 1 and worked my way up to 10. In about 3 minutes, I had butter and this lovely yellow stuff called “buttermilk.”
Now, this is where some people stop. We might encounter some stress in our own life, rely upon God during the process and then when it is over, we go back to “regular life” and sideline God’s presence because “we’ve got this.”
However, even though it looks like butter now, we’re not done.
Step 2–Purify it. Hidden throughout the butter are tiny pockets of buttermilk. If you leave this buttermilk in with the butter it will quickly spoil. Step 1 got a little messy, but it is nothing compared to the refining of the butter. Here, you take ice water and pour it on top of the solids and start the mixer again. Even with the towel, stuff will go everywhere. Pour off the water and repeat. Again and again.
Eventually, the water will appear completely clear and that is when you can wrap the butter in yet another towel, dry it off and perhaps add in some fun personalizations–gray sea salt, herbs, etc. Now, you have some lovely butter to use to nourish yourself or share with others.
You see, God is the ultimate “butter maker.” He says He makes all things new (Acts 3:21, Isaiah 41:18-19). If you didn’t get in earlier in the Bible, He repeats it again in Revelations 21:5 when He flat out says, “I am making everything new!” Isn’t that beautiful? He is daily increasing our value as he turns us from milk to luscious butter.
Over the years, I’ve read Paul’s list of things he endured in 2 Cor 11:
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
I imagine each of these as another turn of the mixer blade which was removing yet another pocket of buttermilk from him. James doesn’t go into such detail, but he does remind us that:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
I’m going to be honest. Every time I ask the Lord to refine me–to make me into better “butter” there is always a little catch in my voice. I don’t particularly enjoy those churning paddles, but the end result is pretty amazing. In our world today, there are a lot of counterfeits–margarine, butter “flavored” crisco and various other forms of plastic masquerading as butter. However, the Lord made you to be the REAL DEAL. You are the NEW, straight from the farm beautiful butter that is lauded as a fine gift over and over again in the Bible (Isaiah 7:15, Judges 5:25) Doesn’t that feel good?
What about you? Is God making “butter” in your life right now? Perhaps He’s purifying your butter and making ghee…but that’s a story for another day.