My husband loves coconut cake. We had an amazing taste of one recently, and were given the promise of the recipe. But, yesterday, I decided that he needed to have that cake sooner than later, so I started looking up recipes on my own. There was a veritable host that dressed up a box mix, and frankly, they would’ve likely been much easier. But I found one that had been discovered in a newspaper, years ago, and knew I’d landed on what I was looking for. From start to finish, that cake took me about 4 hours to make. It was very involved, requiring me to really pay attention and give it a lot of concentration and effort. While I was working away in the kitchen, I could see my man working out in the yard below.

When we bought this property, there was yard around the house that gently sloped down to a lower yard that was overgrown in high grass. Once the grass was mowed down, we discovered a large, raised and terraced garden bed. I was so excited, because even though it, too, was overgrown and would require a lot of work to reclaim, it would make a spectacular vegetable garden. Over the last couple of weekends, Kevin’s been working hard to pull out what was there, till it, fill it with new soil and compost and get it ready for me to plant. Just like the cake, it was painstaking work, requiring a lot of steps to do it right and come out with an excellent end result.

As I stood there watching him with coconut on my hands and an ache in my back from standing there for so long, he stopped what he was doing to bend and stretch out his own back. Then, he went right back into the work, set to finish. I realized that we were basically doing the same thing: going above and beyond to bless the other. Neither of us were taking short cuts; we were sacrificing our afternoons to give each other a gift of excellence out of love.

On this Sunday morning, I’m thinking of another sacrifice made for me. You, too, actually. It required a lot of effort and the endurance of pain far beyond a tired back. It was the ultimate sacrifice of life, to make ours abundant and eternal. It was the ultimate gift of excellence to blot out our continual lack of it. Sweeter than cake and more life-giving than a well-tended garden, it was done from a heart of love for us…you and me.

Because He wanted to.

Because He knew it was our only hope.

I might just spend the day being extra thankful for it. You?


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”