Waiting for Bread

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I have used the analogy of baking bread when talking about waiting on God. If I had a dollar for every time I could probably give up baking and just buy a couple loaves.
I’ve been baking a lot of bread lately…and with not a lot of success. I’m trying to make healthier choices for myself and for my family and decided that, since my kids take sandwiches several times a week in their lunch boxes, making bread at home would be a smart option. Not only can I control the ingredients but I get the benefit of slowing down, resting in the wait of the rising dough and slow baking process.
My friend Jamie gave me a recipe that she swears is fool-proof. She says she bakes a couple loaves a week and it’s super easy. It’s a throw-it-all-in kind of recipe and it really was easy. Except that my loaf turned out small. It was tasty and dense and cut nicely for sandwiches…if you like tiny, doll sized sandwiches.
I made it again, this time allowing extra rising time. It rose beautifully. But when I baked it it fell. So it was tasty and airy and it still cut nicely for sandwiches…if you like horse shoe shaped sandwiches. Jamie’s recipe might be fool-proof but it is clearly not Tamara-proof.
Last night I pulled out my Cooking Bible from Paula Deen and made old-fashioned white bread. Y’all there truly is something to putting your hands in the dough and kneading it into a smooth ball. I closed my eyes and wondered if that is what God felt when he reached into the earth and pulled out a man. I may have wondered too long though and my kneading may have been over zealous. I made two of the most beautiful loaves you’ve ever laid eyes on but they were so dense and heavy. I sliced an end off while the bread was still steaming and spread a very thin layer of butter on it. It melted instantly into the tiny pores just before I put it in my mouth. “Is this what heaven tastes like?” I wondered to myself. It was so delicious I almost shed a tear but I knew in my gut that as this bread cooled it would turn heavier and heavier. This morning my beautiful loaves could be used in a drive by to throw through someone’s window. They were as hard as bricks.
I’m not giving up in my bread quest. I will find the perfect recipe that works in Houston’s fall humidity and doesn’t mind my temperamental oven. I will find the instructions that are easy to follow and understand and don’t require me to take a day off work to fit all the steps in.
In the meantime I will continue to refer to bread making when I talk about waiting on the Lord. The analogy still holds true. And just like my oven cooks differently from my friend Jamie’s,God’s timing is rarely my own. His plan often looks totally different from mine so even when I follow the recipe, my bread might not be as tall or fluffy or brown. The instructions he gives someone else for their life might be different from what he’s calling me to do. I may need a whole new recipe. And a new oven. But that’s a different analogy for a different post on a different day.

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