Timing is everything. They were the worst cookies I’ve ever made. Truly terrible in every imaginable way.

If you ever come over to my house, ask me to make cookies. I make spectacular cookies. It’s my thing. I have a cookie scoop so they are uniform. I bake on parchment paper for easy release and I have mastered when to take them out of the oven so they are golden soft glorious sugary goodness.

But I learned through trial and error. One of the biggest of those errors was in college. I was making cookies for my boyfriend and his friends, so it was really important. While not a master, I still was already known for exceptional delectable cookie making. Everyone was looking forward to them – myself included. Maybe I was looking forward to them a little too much, as my impatience got the best of me… and the cookies.

The first step in baking is to gather all ingredients. I had set the butter out before to warm, but it wasn’t really as soft as it needed to be. No matter. It would warm as I mixed, right? Wrong. I put all the ingredients together and began mixing. The butter was clumpy and would not blend uniformly. I knew you could microwave a stick of butter for 10-15 seconds to soften it before mixing so I popped the bowl in the oven to solve my problem. Note the imperative phrase here: before mixing.

The dough mixed right up and looked fine. I popped them in the oven without a second thought. They smelled just as glorious as ever while baking, but when the time arrived to take the cookies out of the oven, my mistake was, well, unmistakable.

The perfect cookies I had made 100s of times were horrible. Instead of pumping, they had puddled – which chocolate chips jutting out like rocks in a stream. They were burnt on the edges and raw in the middle. My fearless-dough eating youth was sad but undeterred. I scooped one up, knowing it might look terrible, but would still be edible. Wrong again. The taste was somewhere between baking soda and burnt dirt.

Dough, even partially mixed, is not meant to be microwaved before baking. My impatience ruined what would have been delicious.

Patience is Someone Else

My mom may have joked with my father on more than one occasion that “Patience is someone else’s wife.” (Note: She will get me for disclosing this to you all, but I’m really cute, and she still loves me.) I am her daughter, and she did not name me Patience either. I am neither patient nor do I pray to be more patient. As part of what could be named the “Amazon Prime” generation, once I decide I want something, I’d like it right now, please, or at least in two days if I decide before noon.

Waiting for good things is hard enough, but the real struggle for me is waiting for bad things to be over. Mentally I understand “I’m not okay right now, but I will be okay.” Emotional or physical — no one likes pain but we will not journey through life without both. We all have pain in some form.

A few nights ago, my 3 year old came to our bed. His older brother does this frequently, but not the little man. He is a snuggler, and true to his history, snuggled in tight to my side. Incredibly cute. Heart-meltingly sweet. Except he was flopping his legs like a fish on land every 30 seconds or so. I nearly lost my sleep-deprived mind.

“Dude, stop moving.”
“Dude, what’s the problem?”
“My wegs hurt!”

Ah. It was all becoming clear. Growing pains. Try explaining them to a 3-year-old at 1 am. See, Buddy, your legs hurt because you are growing. It won’t hurt forever, just a few nights. Riiiiight.

His pain was temporary and for good reason, but I could not make it go away or tell him when it would end.

Getting It Over With

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD,
in an acceptable time:
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me,
in the truth of thy salvation.
Psalm 69:13 NKJV

When I reached verse 13 in Psalm 69, I stopped, reread, smiled, grabbed a pen, and underlined “in an acceptable time.” I probably should have underlined it more than once. I know in my head that God is in control. He works all things together for good and HIs glory. Clearly, sometimes I’d like for Him to work faster. His timeline does not always match my timeline, and when I disagree with God, it is me not him who must change.

Psalm 69 was written by David. It is a lament and portions of it are Messianic (relating to and fulfilled by Jesus). It reminds me a lot of his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:38b ESV

Clock with block letters "IN TIME"

Here, David doesn’t ask to skip the suffering, but for an end to or relief from it. When I walk through suffering, I usually trust God to use it. I don’t question that it has to happen although I’d love a peek at why it must happen. Mostly, I just want to hurry up and learn my lesson and get past the pain and hurt. I’m like a child rushing through my homework so I can go outside to play. I just want the pain to get over with! Life doesn’t work like that. God doesn’t work like that. We don’t work like that.

Remember that pesky old saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” It applies not just to work, but to suffering as well. We can’t rush through suffering, pausing to grab the cliffnotes to look back at if we have questions. We must walk the path, knowing that in an acceptable time God will bring us through it to the other side where we can look back at the path with perspective and understanding. Suffering isn’t a distraction. It’s part of the journey.

In An Acceptable Time

My cookies were ruined by my impatience. My impatience got things out of order. Had I taken 10 seconds to microwave the butter BEFORE adding it to other ingredients to mix, it would have been soft enough to mix, and I wouldn’t have then tried to microwave the whole bowl. Timing is important. Order is important.

When I struggle with why something has to happen, I remember Joseph: Hated by his brothers. Sold into slavery by his own brothers. Falsely accused and thrown in prison. Waiting. Serving. Patient. His story to restoration took years of his life. Years with no explanation as to what God was doing. But if one part of his suffering is left out, he isn’t where God needs him to be when God will use him. Without slavery, he doesn’t end up in Egypt. Without prison, he doesn’t end up counseling Pharoah. Skipping one step destroys two nations — Egypt and Israel — when famine hits.

I don’t know what God is doing in your life. It may not be pleasant. It may be very, very hard. And may be taking much longer than you think it should.

But this is not a detour.
This is God’s will and plan for your life.
Trust in his acceptable time.

Truthfully Yours,

https://uncomfortabletruths.blog/2020/10/26/faithfulness-hope-when-you-dont-feel-like-it/If you found this post encouraging, here are some other posts you might like:
Never Alone
Faithfulness: Hope When You Don’t Feel Like It
What If God Doesn’t Save Us?