Bread

“Bread – What a Scandinavian Bakery taught me about waiting on God”.

Catchy title, huh?  Should it be my next book?  Probably not.  But there really is a story there.

A Christmas Eve trip to the Viking Bakery in Denville, New Jersey has become a family holiday tradition.  We pre-order our loaves of limpa (Swedish rye bread) and cardamom coffee cake rings a day or two before.  Then on Christmas Eve morning we make the 10 mile drive to Denville, wait in the line stretching to the door and receive our bundles of fresh Scandinavian goodness.

At least that’s the way it’s supposed to happen.

We did make the 10 mile drive.  We did stand in the line that stretched to the front door.  But we didn’t get our bread.  A very apologetic young girl behind the counter told us that our order wasn’t ready and could we come back in two hours?

Well now, that certainly wasn’t our plan.  As it is in most homes, Christmas Eve is a busy day.  We had other things planned, other things to accomplish – things that weren’t in that town, 10 miles from home.  But in the Christmas spirit of things (and because she looked so worried that we might not respond graciously), we said of course, we can come back.

And two hours later, she handed me bread that was so warm she couldn’t even seal the bags, and cardamom rings that made the car smell like the bakery was coming home with us.

Later, we realized a little something about waiting.  If we had demanded that she give us our bread two hours earlier, she might well have had to hand us a wet, sticky ball of dough.  Nothing like the fragrant bread we had longed for, certainly nothing like what we received later, so full of deliciousness.

Aren’t we like that with God sometimes?  We expect a certain thing to happen in a certain way and in a certain time.  And God asks us to wait.  Usually we don’t even know why.  But He asks.  And we have the choice to respond with indignation and demands for faster service, or to respond with gracious acceptance of the delay, knowing that the waiting will bring something better.  If God allows what we demand, it might end up being like the wet, sticky ball of dough – completely disappointing and useless.

I was glad we waited for the bread.  Totally worth it.  And I’m glad the waiting reminded us of life, and of waiting on God for things we think we deserve right now.  I don’t want God to give me things outside of His timing because I demand it.

I might not always understand the delay, but waiting will be worth it.  Totally worth it.

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;  Isaiah 30:18

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  Isaiah 55:8

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  James 1:4
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