The way He started talking to me this morning was through the waffles that I was making. I had some eggs that needed to be used, and waffles use three eggs if you want to make them right – I’ve used less in the past, but they don’t have the same light and spongy texture, the perfect texture to soak up the maple syrup. They tend to come out tougher if you don’t use enough eggs, and even though if they’re tough they’re closer to frozen ones which are ok too, if I’m going to make them, and I have enough eggs, why not do it the right way? I love waffles but don’t always take the time to make them. I don’t always have all the ingredients, and it is a bit of an extra effort because you have to put together all the ingredients and use different bowls and measuring cups and melt the butter and use an egg beater, and sometimes I just don’t want to go through all that because at the end I have to clean it all up. It’s always worth it, but I tend to be very impatient, and if I’m really honest, I have to admit that I can be lazy too, and I just want to get things done, so just deciding that I’m going to go ahead and make the waffles takes a bit of getting over my own natural inclination to do things the simplest way possible. Sometimes when I make waffles I’m trying to multi-task – clean as they’re cooking, water the plants, do emails – but today the Lord told me to just make them. It was a bit nerve wracking for me because once they go into the waffle iron, you have to wait at least 2 minutes before you check if they’re done. Just standing there seemed like a waste of time, and I was getting restless, but the Lord kept talking to me about timing and patience. In the end, the waffles came out perfectly, and I was so glad I’d listened to Him, and I knew when I was making them that He was talking to me about these other things in my life and how if I can just keep myself doing what He is asking me to do, He’s going to bring everything around in a way that will be more than I could ever hope or imagine. But if I don’t listen, if I try to rush ahead of Him, I could end up with waffles that don’t make the grade – they could be tough or soggy or undercooked, and who wants waffles like that?To give you an idea of what I’ve been dealing with, the promise that He made to me is that I’m going to be married. He made that promise before I ever knew the man who I was going to marry, and when I met him, the Lord told me He was the one before the man had ever said or done anything to make me think it was possible. Over time, a very short time actually, the man did show in actions and words that it was more than possible and that it was going to happen, but then other things happened to stop things from moving forward. Marrying this man is tied up with moving into a new apartment or home – maybe even a house – and starting a ministry together. These are all promises the Lord has made that He has confirmed again and again, but from where I’m sitting now it all seems like a nice dream that there is no way that it can happen. Not only is the marriage on hold, but the man is not even living in this country now – we’re separated by an ocean and lack of funds and lack of a way for him to live here. My landlord made it clear to me that he can’t live in my apartment, and my apartment is really too small for two people anyway. Then they cut our budget at my job and my hours and income were reduced for seven months. I already have a tough time making ends meet – I’m not complaining at all because the Lord has been so faithful – but I say that so you know that there is no way I could move into a new apartment and support someone else while he was trying to find a job in an economy that he might not find one right away. And that’s not only bad for a relationship to be having money problems from the beginning, but it’s also bad for men to have to rely on a woman to support them. I’m a feminist in much of my thinking, but people in general need to feel they are independent and can take care of themselves, and for a man to not be able to support himself and have to rely on his wife is something that can really wreck his self esteem. So here I am, looking at this mess, thinking, how is this all going to work out and sometimes feeling like I need to do something to speed things up, and that’s why the Lord was talking to me about patience and timing this morning.
When God has spoken a word over your life, there are times when you just have to go about your business knowing that He will bring it to pass in the perfect time. Abraham and Sara made a mess of things trying to run ahead of God, and even though He still blessed them and blessed the mess they’d made, they wouldn’t have had to deal with the mess at all if they’d just listened to His promise and waited on His timing. David was anointed king, but then spent 40 years running away from Saul before he was finally crowned. In the meantime he could have at any time done away with Saul – he was given opportunities and each time he refused, allowing God to do what He needed to do in order for the timing to be right. But even with these stories that I know so well, it’s hard for me sometimes to be patient myself. I think sometimes that maybe we don’t have to get married, that maybe it’s someone else I’m supposed to be marrying, that maybe I was mistaken about this man, that maybe I didn’t really hear God or that maybe I can interpret what God said in a way that makes more sense to me. But God clearly said we needed to get married – that’s one of His commandments that I never followed in the past and He made it clear that I need to follow it now. And He clearly said it was this man, and He has clearly shown me that there is no mistake in what I heard, about who He was talking about or in my interpretation of the word He has spoken over my life.There is something that the Lord spoke to me about a while ago, when He was talking to me about waiting on His promises and His timing. King Saul and King David both did things that were sins, and if you look at the sins, King David’s were much worse. King David seduced Bathsheba, a woman who was married to one of the men who was fighting in battle, and when he wanted to hide the adultery, he called the husband back from battle and tried to get the husband to sleep with his wife. When the husband refused out of wishing to honor his comrades in battle, David had him killed on the sly. King Saul didn’t wait for the Prophet Samuel to arrive in order to make the sacrifice before a battle, and he didn’t destroy everything that was won in the battle as he had been commanded by God. When you look at the two sins on the surface, King David’s seems so much greater, and yet what the Lord spoke to me about is that in His eyes they are both equal sins because they both involved disobedience – not listening to God and not following His leading. The blessing of King Saul was removed by God and King David’s was for a time but it was restored. The reason for this is that when confronted by Samuel with his sin, King Saul tried to justify it and say it wasn’t important and when that didn’t work he tried to hide it. When Samuel confronted David, he admitted his sin, repented of it, and accepted the judgment of God and was ultimately restored.
God’s promises to us are covenant promises, which means that they are made in blood. For people in Old Testament times, it was a promise that was sealed by a sacrifice, and with the coming of Jesus, He became that sacrifice once and for all. When God makes a covenant promise, He will not back out of it, but we can do things that mess things up and add misery where He planned joy. Marriage is a covenant promise, a home that is blessed is a covenant promise, children and a heritage and a ministry are all covenant promises. The Lord has made those promises to me, and He’s going to keep them. It is up to me to keep my side of the bargain which is to remain faithful and trust in Him.2 Corinthians 4:16-18 tells us, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Romans 8:31 tells us, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” There’s a Rolling Stones song, “Time Is On My Side.” God holds the strings of time, and if He’s on my side, then time itself doesn’t matter. It’s His timing that matters, and He will bring about His promises in His perfect time.