A few years ago, I was in a time of prayer and what I thought was a strange
request came to my spirit. Make a Red Velvet Cake for a friend. Since that was also
my favorite cake, I was excited and rushed to the store to get the ingredients but at
the last minute decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes instead. I figured they’d be
easier to eat and make than a multi-layer cake. However, every cupcake that I made
that day came out flat or lopsided.
I was a little concerned because cupcakes are easy and I couldn’t figure out
how I’d messed them up, even the frosting ran off the cupcakes. Next time, I
decided to get frozen cookie dough and make chocolate chip cookies instead of cake.
Since the dough was already prepared, I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about them
not turning out right. All I had to do was put them in the oven and wait. After
waiting for 10 minutes, I was both horrified and confused about the sight of burnt
cookies. I blamed it on the cookie dough being bad and threw the cookies away.
A few weeks went by and I decided to try again but this time I was going to
make a special combination of brownies and chocolate chip cookies. 30 minutes into
baking, I opened the oven door to check on the cookie/brownie mix. It looked
deliciously brown on top and smelled irresistibly good. However, the insides were
still very runny so I figured maybe another 20 minutes would work. But even after
one hour, the dough was still runny. I finally took it out after 1 ½ hours. The dough
was no longer runny but it sure was heavy. It got even heavier as it cooled. After a
few hours, it was solid like a brick. Into the trash it went.
I chuckled at all three incidences because I’m normally a pretty good cook.
That’s why I couldn’t understand why each of my attempts at baking failed. Of
course, that’s when I realized: God never told me to make anything other than a Red
Velvet Cake. It was a simple request but I’d messed it up. I did the exact opposite
of 2 Chronicles which says “In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.”
I repented for my disobedience and decided to make the red velvet cake.
Hours later, I was looking at a beautiful Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting
and sprinkled with almonds. In the end, my friend was so excited when I gave him
the cake. He even said that he’d been craving a red velvet cake. In the end, I got a
great lesson about being 100% obedient when God tells me to do something for
others. Moreover, it was also a powerful reminder that we have the choice to be
blessed through our obedience or struggle through disobedience.
Shewanda Riley is the author of the Essence best-seller "Love Hangover: Moving
From Pain to Purpose after a Relationship ends." She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @shewanda.