By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope.”—Psalm 130:5 (NIV).
In a 1978 edition of “Good Housekeeping” magazine, a recipe for Hummingbird Cake appeared. Submitted by a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of North Carolina, the cake took only 60 minutes of hands-on time. However, the cake—made from scratch—required 8-10 hours before it could be sliced and served.
Using over-ripe bananas, toasted pecans and crushed pineapple, along with the other necessary cake ingredients, the batter was poured into three well-greased and floured 9-inch cake pans, baked and then cooled for at least an hour. The next step called for a homemade cream cheese custard filling, a decadent mixture to be spread between the cake layers. However, after boiling, the cream cheese mixture had to cool at room temperature for at least an hour before being placed in the refrigerator to be chilled for another six to 24 hours. The final step in this famed cake recipe is a browned butter frosting, which required another hour to an hour and half prep and chilling time before completion.
That was 35 years ago. Times have changed. Most of us don’t want to spend that much time preparing, let alone waiting over 24 hours, to eat a cake. Most of us grab a cake mix and canned frosting off the grocery shelf to make a cake in less than two hours.
Waiting on God is also difficult. It’s frustrating. We want answers now. Wouldn’t it be nice to pick up the phone, dial a number and get God on the other end to give us an immediate answer? However, it doesn’t work that way. He always answers in His timing with good reasons for making us wait. For example, Mary and Martha waited on Jesus to come heal their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus finally shows up, He is accused of taking too long. In the wait, His plans were perfected.
Waiting is one of God’s tools to develop His people. If you look at Psalm 130:5 closely, the psalmist mentions not only waiting for the Lord but also placing his hope in God’s Word. If we read and study the Bible stories of those who waited on God, we can find encouragement. Remember, Abraham waited 25 years, Moses waited 40 and Jesus waited 30. God uses the times of waiting to transform our character but He never asks us to wait without Him. The great heroes of the Bible went through difficulties and hardships but God was with them in the trenches.
Pastor John Ortberg said, “Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”
While waiting, trust God in the process.
Carol Round is author of the weekly syndicated column “A Matter of Faith.” She resides in Claremore, Okla. Need a speaker for your women’s event? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.