Waiting . . . and Waiting

Chocolate Chip Cookies really are one of the best things.  They’re one of my comfort foods, especially when they’re still warmish and the chocolate chips are melty.  As wonderful as they are, you do have to wait for them.  When they come out of the oven, they have to set.  You could transfer them immediately, but they’ll melt off the spatula, and they’ll fall through the squares of the cooling rack.  And, you could try to eat one immediately, but you’ll burn your mouth on the molten flour/butter/sugar/chocolate chip combo, and it will lessen the joy as you try to put out the fire in your mouth.  (This is one of the reasons why, I suppose, milk is so good with cookies.)

It strikes me that God’s blessings are often like waiting for chocolate chip cookies.  In Exodus 14 the Israelites have been fleeing the Egyptians.  They’re at the shore of the Red Sea.  The Israelites panic because they have the enemy behind them and the sea before them - it appears there’s no way out, and they wail and cry out to Moses, thinking God has abandoned them to die.

Moses tells the Israelites, “Don’t be afraid.  Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.  The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.  The Lord Himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.” (Ex 14: 13-14)  At this point, we have all the ingredients for God’s Red Sea Miracle, and the Lord begins to bake.  God’s pillar of cloud the Israelites had been following moved from in front of them to behind them, transformed into fire, and created an actual barrier between Pharaoh’s armies and God’s people.  

Here’s the part that is like waiting for those cookies:  Exodus 14: 21 says, “Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind.  The wind blew all night, turning the seabed into dry ground.”  

God showed the Israelites His plan to rescue them, to bless them.  He provided all the components, did all the work (Moses was merely the sous chef).  And then the Israelites had to watch and wait.  They saw the sea part and the path God provided . . . but they had to wait for the all-important last step:  God providing a strong wind that BLEW ALL NIGHT, to dry the ground so they could walk on it.  

God didn’t part the sea and make them have to slog through the mud, IN THE DARK, no less.   This Almighty, Lord of Heaven’s Armies, was also compassionate ~ He’s the GOD WHO SEES us ~ and He gave them a solid path for their feet and daylight to see it.  Psalm 27 is a remarkable psalm that richly describes the benefit of waiting on the Lord and complements the events of the Red Sea crossing, ending with this encouraging promise:  

“Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

Waiting on the Lord is not wasting time.  It’s not foolhardy.  It’s not misguided.  Like our cookies (well, a little like our cookies 😉) when they’re cooled enough and finally ready to eat, the waiting enhances the blessing.

by Inga

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