I was standing over the stove top cooking the Chicken Tarragon when I felt my impatience grow. The timer was set to brown each breast filet for 4 minutes on a side. The three boneless breasts huddled next to each other in the cast iron frying pan while I watched the timer tick away the minutes. I had already measured and set out the other ingredients so the only thing left to do was WAIT.
The timer seemed to move at a snail’s pace. I watched the seconds count down on the timer.
I’ve made this dish countless times, and I don’t ever remember being so impatient for four little minutes to pass. I began wondering as I noticed my impatience growing to turn those brown filets, “How could I be so antsy?”
Then I realized that if I could be so impatient over four mere minutes, no wonder I was having such a hard time waiting on the Lord for Him: * to answer my prayers, * to meet my needs, * to settle my anxious heart, * to move in the circumstances of my life
* and to accomplish His purpose in my trials so that they would be over.
“Get a grip, Janis,” I told myself. “Stop staring at the timer. Soon enough it will be time to flip those chicken breasts.”
Unfortunaetley, God’s timer is not usually set to just four minutes. Sometimes it’s four days, four months, four years, or four ever. And we have to WAIT. So while we are waiting, we need to stop staring at the timer. We need to turn our attention on the Lord and:
* spend time with Him in prayer
* read and meditate on His word
* be busy about the Lord’s work which He has prompted us to do
* be prepared to encourage others along the journey
* persevere in faith
* live so He is glorified in our lives
As I was looking up the word “wait” in the Bible, I could not believe how many times it is used in various books and passages. Sometimes it means that we need to wait on the Lord, sometimes it means to wait before we act, and sometimes it is used to say that if we wait to act, we are showing a lack of faith.
In each situation in our lives where we are waiting, we must seek the Lord to determine what His desire is for us.
I’m a long way from making progress in this “waiting room of the Lord’s.” My anxious heart wants answers and direction yesterday. So I need to heed what I have posted here. Look to His word and learn how to wait.
“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before you and WAIT IN EXPECTATION.” PSALM 5:3 NIV.
Do you have a favorite Scripture that talks about waiting on the Lord? Please share it with us.
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Fall was in the air, the pumpkin spiced candle was burning, and we were having good friends over for dinner. I wanted to make something new that had all the flavor of this rich autumn season in it. As I thumbed through new recipes, pumpkin kept popping out at me. Then I remembered that the husband part of our friendship loved caramel. He talked about how much he liked caramel flavored creamer for his coffee with a touch of caramel syrup as well.
I had just purchased a new Trifle bowl from Pampered Chef and was anxious to use it. Thumbing through recipes from Taste of Home, I found one that would top off the evening.
adapted from Taste of Home 4 cups chopped peeled tart Apples (about 5 medium) 1 cup of chopped pecans (the original called for walnuts) 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, divided (it’s next to the Kroeger allspice at Frys) 1, 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1 container of Litehouse caramel dip (calls for only 12-1/4 ounces, but all the caramel dips come in 16 ounces, so just use your own judgment on how much you use) 1, 16-ounce carton of Cool Whip, thawed, divided. Here again, the recipe calls for 12 ounces, so you will use only 3/4 of the container 2 loaves of pound cake–I got mine from the bakery section of Frys. They were already sliced but it worked out fine. The original recipe called for 2 loaves frozen (10-3/4 ounces each). Frozen was more expensive. Just use a total of 14 slices cut into 1″ cubes ) In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. 1) Stir in the apples, pecans, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice. Cook and stir for 8 minutes-10 minutes. You want the apples somewhat tender but still firm. 2) In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup of the caramel topping straight from the container and remaining apple pie spice. 3) Fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip. You might want to add another cup of Cool Whip just to have more filling for each layer. Something I will try next time around. 4) In a 3-1/2 quart trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, cream cheese mixture and apple mixture. Repeat layers twice. 5) Garnish with remaining whipped topping and drizzle with remaining caramel topping. To top with the caramel, you need to melt it in the microwave per package directions. Let cool before adding the topping. Sprinkle with additional apple pie spice if desired. 6) Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. (I did mine overnight). I cheated on my decorations. Got the Ready-Whip can and sprayed the rosettes. You can make swirls with the caramel or whatever you like. Share: Share what you have enjoyed.
“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) I think I can make it now, the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared Here is that rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun Shinny day.”
Written by Johnny Nash, released 1972 When I first became a Christian, this was one of my favorite secular songs. Woven through the lyrics, I could express what Jesus had done for me. He had made everything clear in my spiritual vision. He had lifted my spirits like no one or anything before that time. The tangled web of depressed feelings were washed away and in their place was the most beautiful rainbow painted across crystal-like, celestial blue skies. I wanted to sing forever of the pure joy I was experiencing. Everywhere I looked, life was brighter. Creation sparkled. And everyone around me knew of the beauty surrounding us. Well, just recently I had cataract surgery in one eye. When my vision cleared up in a couple of days, I immediately remembered these lyrics and the sacred place they held in my heart. I hummed the tune, noticing how vibrant colors had become after surgery. The burnt orange in our autumn garland popped with hues in High Definition. Life was a brighter white. Lines were more defined. And I was astounded at how clearly I could see distant objects. I even commented to my husband how I could see the stubble of the actor’s beard on TV. Images were so clear, they almost seemed artificial. Unfortunately, I started noticing a dark crescent-shaped line appearing in my peripheral vision. The technicians whom I spoke to over the phone explained it away as reflections that would disappear in a couple of weeks as my brain adjusted. Their explanation did not sit well with either my husband or myself so I dug a little further on the web and discovered that this condition could last up to a year. My disappointment was serious. Yes, I could still see brilliant colors and crystal-clear objects but this obstacle in my eye was diminishing the gift of clear vision I had received. Over the years in my journey with the Lord, my once crystal-clear spiritual vision has also suffered from obstacles. My heart had stopped singing this song as I focused on the black crescent-shaped line that was intruding on the beautiful rainbow and the bright blue skies. I guess my brain needed to adjust its focus. Yet, stubbornly I clung to that black line until I was guaranteed “nothing but blue skies” again. There are no guarantees like that in Scripture or from the Lord. As a matter of fact, He says that we can expect to have tribulations in this world but that He has overcome the world (John 16:31-33). That has always been hard for me to accept. I have wanted to keep my “bright, bright Sun Shinny day” forever–in this world. So I stumble through trials as if I am still wearing the cloudy brown out-of-focus vision I had before Jesus filled me with a new vision and a new life. My brain needs to refocus. On Him. On His Word. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (brain). Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV parenthesis mine I liked the depth of The Message, so I have included its translation of Romans 12:2 as well. “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” With the help of the Lord, I think I can make it now–even though “all the bad feelings” have not disappeared. The rainbow I need to take hold of is Jesus, Himself, and His Word. That’s what I’ve really been praying for~though I may not have know it.
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With spade in hand, I was churning the hard clay dirt now ringed in citrus food. Crawling backwards on my hands and knees around the trunk of our lemon tree, I bumped into an unexpected object hanging from the tree. A lemon!! A hard, large, green lemon. I was elated. That made two lemons on our tree. A tree that had suffered such severe damage from last year’s frost, we weren’t sure it would even survive. It has survived and thrived in producing abundant branches and green leaves–but only one lemon could I find. As I scattered the beaded food around the tree earlier, I stared up through the green canopy, just begging for more lemons, but my eyes found none other than the one fruit dangling in the familiar location that drew our eyes. I thought to myself, “This is okay. At least we have a tree, and, God willing, we’ll have an abundance of lemons next year–barring another harsh, week- long frost.” Turning back to the ground after finding our “new” lemon, I felt another bump. “Oh, it can’t be,” I thought. Twisting my body around to face backwards and up, I saw another lemon. Then twins hanging on a branch. I stopped and began counting the ones that my eyes had not seen before. The count reached 10. My heart was overjoyed, which seems strange knowing that a few years ago we had a bumper crop of 1500 on that full-sized lemon. Yes, my husband, the engineer, did count them. Those engineers do crazy things with numbers.
So it was not the quantity that brought me joy, but the surprise from the Lord that we had 10 lemons where only one had existed to our eyes before this.
|The Lemon Tree after last year’s frost.|
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. Psalm 21:6 NIV
An afterthought that occurred to me: How often do I see only one fruit in my life’s circumstances as I wait for the Lord’s answer? I lose hope because I don’t realize He has so much more to give me until He opens my eyes.
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