Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Best Cakes. . .

My father used to say, "The best cakes take the longest in the oven". 

I can't tell you how many times I've related this to impatient families of young laboring women, who want that baby to appear almost instantaneously.  Using this quote usually gets both a chuckle, and my point across that sometimes the best things just take time.

Two of my mother's cakes -- both of which seemed to take tortously long in the oven -- remain etched in my memory:  her pound cake and her New York cheesecake.  The cheesecake, while not better than the pound cake, was worse for the waiting, because even after it came out of the oven, you still couldn't cut it for several hours.

It is just the nature of humans to want things in a hurry.  Even as Christians, we know the Lord has wonderful, beautiful things for us, but we want them NOW.  We don't want to wait patiently for Him to bring them to us "in the fullness of time".   Perhaps it is a godly spouse for which we are waiting, a precious perfect little baby, a new home, a wonderful job or even a place of ministry and fulfillment.  Instead of resting and waiting, so often we want to run ahead of the Lord and grab the thing before it is finished.  But what if we had taken my mother's pound cake out of the oven thirty minutes too early?  Would we have liked the result?  No, we wouldn't even have been able to tolerate one mouthful.  But if we waited until that cake was finished. . .ahh, it was heavenly, indeed!

Sometimes we think we know exactly what and how the Lord will grant the desires of our hearts and when that moment finally arrives, it is completely different from what we expected.  I have had that experience so many times in my life I am quite sure it is the Lord's pattern for me.

The best example of this occurred when we were looking for our house.  We spent hour after hour, our children in the backseat, driving around looking for just the right house.  One afternoon we drove through a neighborhood we liked and looked at a house with a for sale sign outside. 

"That house is just too small," we both agreed.  We loved the trees shading the house, and the look of the house, but it would never accomodate our family and our ministry needs.  We passed by the house without another thought.

 Thankfully, we had a kind and patient real estate agent who was geniunely interested, not only in making a sale, but in finding a house that was perfect for us.  He took us to house after house and listened to our likes and dislikes.  After a few weeks, he took us to the very house we had so tacitly rejected.

As we walked through the house, we knew we had come home.  The Lord's Spirit moved deep within our spirits and we felt that calm assurrance that this was where He wanted us to be.  After our offer had been accepted, the real estate agent told us the story.  We were the third couple to offer on the house.  And the third couple to be accepted.  But with the other two, financing had fallen through just before the deal was completed.  The owner, having already purchased another house and moved, was anxious to sell this house and dropped the purchase price with each failed deal.  The price we bought the house for was thousands less than for which she had originally listed the house.

You see, we just needed to wait.  The Lord didn't have our house ready for us yet when we first saw it.  He was still perfecting it just for us.

Is there something for which your heart longs today?  Some desire you truly believe the Lord has promised you and yet you see no evidence of it in sight?  Don't search for it yourself.  Don't strive to attain that which He has promised to give.  He will bring it you, He will set it beside you in a way that will show it has been His working, His gift, His love for you which has accomplished the thing.

"Be still and know I am God."
(Psalms 46:10)

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