I had no idea I would end up moving to Hong Kong and living here for 18 years. That was not my plan at all. When my first child was born, I said I was going back to the US when she entered kindergarten. Darn it God! Didn’t you get the memo? Apparently HE didn’t get my memo because my oldest is about to graduate from high school. Our plans and God’s plan for our lives can be very different.
Today is Thursday and that means it’s my lady’s group day! We had an amazing discussion based on Chapter 8 of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. http://www.amazon.com/Having-Mary-Heart-Martha-World-ebook/dp/B000SEHC18/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390472119&sr=8-1&keywords=having+a+mary+heart+in+a+martha+world The chapter focuses on lessons we can learn from Lazarus. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha and was sick. Jesus said (John 11:4) “This sickness will not end in death” but Lazarus died. It was 4 days before Jesus came and resurrected Lazarus. I am sure Mary and Martha and their family were like “God”…… “hello”….. “Jesus said he wasn’t going to die.”
Jesus’ coming late was actually an act of love. It was part of God’s plan but I imagine it was not part of Mary and Martha’s plan. In the book Weaver explains about his coming late. “A gift of perspective. A foreshadowing meant as a mercy, not only for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but for his disciples and for you and me.” “When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead he put to death Satan’s lie that the end is the end” She goes on to say “If Jesus Christ can turn death into life, sorrow into gladness, suffering into triumph—then nothing truly bad can ever touch our lives again” This doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to us but that we have eternal life to look forward too. It means our lives may not always go according to our plan but God has a perfect plan for each of us.
So what lessons do we learn from Lazarus? Weaver writes, God’s will does not always proceed in a straight line. Well I wish I had had the spiritual maturity to know this 18 years ago! I am blessed to now know and live this daily. God’s love sometimes tarries for our good and his glory. God’s love is sometimes delayed or lingers but that doesn’t mean he has stopped working in our lives. God’s ways are not our ways, but his character is dependable. Even when we think there is no hope in a situation, we must believe that God has our backs. There will be times in our lives when we don’t hear from God. It is what we do in those times that sustains our faith. My family, ladies group, and church community sustain me during these times. They are always there to lift me up if I am down about a particular situation. So if you haven’t heard from God in a while, get to know him! He is the BFF you are missing in your life.
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him–2 Samuel 22:31
Sesame Crusted Tofu with Nuoc Cham
2 blocks of tofu, about 6 oz each (save the plastic containers they come in. You will use it for pressing out the liquid. Most tofu in Hong Kong is made for either frying or steaming and is pretty soft compared to what I get in the US. Softer tofu makes for a more delicate dish and isn’t dry like firm tofu)
1 egg beaten with 1 t of water
1/4 t salt
2 T white sesame seeds
1 T black sesame seeds (I couldn’t find these so just used white)
1/2-3/4 C panko bread crumbs
Canola oil for frying
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c fish sauce
1/3 c fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red Thai chilies, thinly sliced (These are VERY spicy if you leave in the seeds. They flavor the sauce wonderfully but be careful if you eat them. If you want to remove the seeds use rubber gloves)
1. Press the tofu to get as much water out of it as possible. I wrap my tofu in a few paper towels and put on a cutting board. Put a can of beans or tomatoes in the empty tofu container and put on top of tofu and rest for about 30-60 minutes. You will need to change your paper towels one or two more times.
2. Mix egg and set aside
3. Put salt, sesame seeds and panko in a shallow dish and set aside
4. Make Nuoc Chan by mixing sugar, fish sauce, and lime together and then adding the other ingredients and set aside
5. Once tofu is dried, cut tofu into cubes
6. Heat oil
7. Dip cubes in egg and then in panko mixture and gently fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
8. Serve with Nuoc Cham
Serves 4, makes about 30 pieces