Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Car Cheese

Throughout his life, my husband’s family made food creations that reflected both Russian and German heritages. Each of these creations were welcomed and enjoyed. Some were reserved for holidays or special occasions, while others were made for everyday meals.

One creation that was made for Easter was Pashka. It is similar to cream cheese when finished, but it is filled with nuts and dried fruit and it is delicious.

However, Mason’s family made Pashka with a twist.

The recipe calls for weights to be placed on top of the mixture to press out the fluid. Instead of weights, they place one of the car tires on it to weigh it down…with the tire attached to the car. So, instead of calling this deliciousness Pashka, they called it “car cheese.”

A couple years ago, we decided to make “car cheese” for Easter. We also made sure we made it when Joy, our granddaughter, was with us so she could have fun with us.

I mixed all the ingredients together, wrapped them in cheesecloth and then into a pan. Mason jacked up the car; we placed the pan under the tire with a board on top, and then set the car down on top of the cheese.

It did exactly what it was supposed to do. The pressure of the car pressed out all of the liquid from the cheese and we enjoyed delicious “car cheese.”

Sometimes in our lives, we are put under pressure. When it happens, we can struggle with everything in our lives. All of our joy can be squeezed from us. Our patience is stretched to the limit.

But we have the assurance that God’s power is stronger than any pressure we might feel from the struggles we encounter.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Our lives are represented by the jars of clay. They are fragile, easily chipped and some might say breakable.

But through the power, the all-surpassing power of God and His Gospel, we can withstand the pressures we undergo. And like the “car cheese,” we can become better because of the pressure.

Pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and stuck down are the terms presented that we can expect to encounter. But, we have the Treasure. We can counter these encounters with the ability not to be crushed, not be in despair, not feel abandoned, and not be destroyed.

With these words of encouragement, we can face the difficult struggles of this world with confidence and power. We can survive and useful in God’s Kingdom because of what we have become through the pressure.

“Car cheese” hasn’t been made since. I really don’t know why. It was delicious. I suppose it took a lot more energy and effort than it was worth.

I’m thankful that making it through the pressures of this life is worth it all. I’m thankful for the all-surpassing power within me to do so. Bring on the pressure…with God, I can handle it.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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