Some people have epiphanies in very dramatic ways. They can involve life-threatening experiences or a life-altering situation. Mine came while standing over the stove making chocolate pie for Christmas Eve. Not very dramatic, I know. But I'm willing to believe that it will alter the way I look at things for the rest of my life.
Now, anyone who has known me for very long will recognize that "patient" is not one of the top ten words people would use to describe me. Okay, truthfully, it's not even in the top 20. I'm not patient; it's not a virtue I currently possess, but I'm working on it.
Anyhow, I was once again realizing that I am not patient while stirring the previously mentioned pie. You see, with chocolate pie, you put sugar, flour, milk and chocolate in a pot on medium-high heat and stir it till it boils. Sounds simple, right? Simple, yes. But I'm not a medium-high cooker. In the grand tradition of my mother and grandmother, I prefer to crank the heat up high and get things going as fast as possible. The thing is, you can't do that with pie. High heat will leave a terrible burnt flavor in your filling. (I know this because I have previously attempted pie without being patient.)
So, I'm standing over the stove, on MEDIUM-high heat, stirring... stirring... stirring... for ten minutes.... fifteen minutes.... twenty minutes. This is the point where I really get sick of standing there stirring and get the impulse to crank up the heat. That is when I heard it; the "still small voice" spoke to me and said, "Be patient. The payoff is worth it."
It made me pause, because it's not my nature to be patient or think of the future payoff. It was certainly God. I continued to stir the watery, brown liquid that promised to become thick decadent chocolate pie. After 27 minutes, the liquid started to steam. After 30 minutes, there was drag on the spoon as I stirred and the concoction began to thicken. After 32 minutes of stirring, I had a pot full of thick, delicious, chocolaty goodness; Proof that God loves me.
I continued slowly mixing the chocolate with the egg a little bit at a time, marveling at the miracle that those few ingredients and the application of heat created. That's when I realized that miracles happen every day; we just don't appreciate the small things. The every day miracles have become too "everyday" for us to recognize that God is in them.
Patience. I don't make New Year's resolutions because calling it a resolution gives you permission to bail on it by mid-January if it gets too hard. But I'm making a commitment before God and the one or two people who maybe read this blog that I am going to be more patient this year and in the years to come. Miracles don't typically happen the second we ask for them. I'm waiting on my miracle and, if God says "be patient," then I will be patient. If you've asked God for a miracle, He will deliver. Waiting stinks. But the good news is, God is faithful and the payoff is worth it.