He's standing on a chair in front of the microwave, impatiently jumping up and down, "Mom, mom when is my popcorn going to be ready?" My mind is preoccupied and my thoughts are a million miles away from this kitchen and that little boy waiting for his popcorn. He must have said that three times in the 2 minutes and 49 seconds it took to pop that corn. Finally, his irritated voice broke through my distant thoughts and I just looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Boy, you do this every day, you know how long it takes." It wasn't even completely out of my mouth when the Spirit of God whispered those words to my turbulent soul.
"Daughter, we've done this before. You know you can trust my timing." Suddenly, I could see myself impatiently standing in front of the microwave, watching the seconds tic down and crying out, "when, when, when?!"
My little guy had things he wanted to do and friends to play with and waiting on popcorn was an irritation in his life. His four year old little brain didn't see the importance of waiting on the just the right timing. If he had taken that popcorn bag out at the 2 minute mark most of the kernels would be unpopped. He would have a bag of unfinished popcorn that would have been less than satisfying. Waiting for that precise moment 2m 49s would produce a full bag of delicious popcorn with enough to share with that little friend he was so anxious to play with. If he could just hold on 49 seconds he could have it all, his yummy popcorn and playtime with his buddy. Forty-nine seconds seemed like an eternity, to a little boy who was just ready to be done with it, but forty-nine seconds means everything when it comes to popping a perfect bag of corn.
Oh man, does my heart need this little illustration today. My heart needs to remember that God's timing is perfect. I need to quiet my soul with the truth that at the appointed time God will have his way and if I wait on him, I will have the perfect bag of buttery corn and good times with my friends... but I have to wait. I have to trust that timing is EVERYTHING when you're popping corn.
And I can remember, because we've done this before. In previous times when the Lord has given me a glimpse of the future and told me to wait patiently for Him to bring it to pass. It was hard to wait then, but He made it happen, just the way He said it would... in His time.
The Children of Israel had to wait. God sent Moses to tell them He was going to set them free from Pharaoh so they could be his people. They thought it would be immediate, but they had to wait and the waiting was hard. Their circumstances even became harder as they waited. Pharaoh and the Egyptians despised the Hebrews for suggesting that God would rescue them. They made their lives harder with more work, less supplies and more severe punishments. As they waited they began to doubt that God had really spoken and maybe this guy Moses was insane to suggest that they would ever be set free from Egypt, but God had bigger plans that they couldn't even understand. God wanted to display HIS GLORY to Pharaoh, Egypt and the surrounding nations.
The Lord HAD spoken and He would have His way, but His timing was everything. By the time that God was done with the Pharaoh and the Egyptians, they were begging the Hebrews to leave and throwing all their valuables at them as they made their escape.
Waiting is hard. Especially when you're standing on a chair, in front of the microwave, watching the seconds tic by. Waiting is hard when you smell that popcorn and your mouth is watering and you know it's gonna be gooooooood! Waiting is hard when you want to go play with your friends and you think you're missing out on something.
Waiting is hard. When you're in Egypt, knowing God has something different in your near future. Waiting is hard when you've finally heard from the Lord about something you've been praying about for a long time. Waiting is hard when life becomes more painful and what He says, doesn't line up with what you see. Waiting is hard when the stripes on your back become more frequent and you can't keep up with the new work load.
But the harder it's gets the sweeter that day of deliverance will be when the Lord says, "Get ready, You must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand."
"On the same day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt according to their military divisions." Exodus 12:51
The Lord did all the work. He did all the preparing. He made the way, where there seemed to be no way. He humbled the greatest nation on behalf of His people. He set them free and led them to a new land. All they had to do was be ready when that day came.
The popcorn is popping. Watching and waiting and worrying isn't going to change one thing. It will take 2 minutes and 49 seconds just like it does every other time. Sitting there fussing about it isn't going to make that popcorn pop any faster AND taking it out before it's time is only going to be a disappointment.
"Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him..." Psalms 37:7