I used to hate scrambled eggs–the smell, the rubbery taste and the way they always seemed lukewarm at best. This is probably too much information to share, so forgive me, but during my pregnancy with Lydia I had my routine glucose tolerance test. The doctor had prepared me to eat a light breakfast with few carbs. She recommended eggs. I hated eggs, but I wanted to pass the test so I took her advice. I ate the eggs, drove to the doctor’s office, drank my orange sugary drink and sat down in the waiting room. Not five minutes later, I wanted a trash can. I managed to keep it all down until I got home. I walked through the back door. Matt asked me how it went, and I covered my mouth and ran to the toilet. Then, I really, really hated scrambled eggs.
Last year when Bread and Wine came out, I got an advance copy and read the whole thing in one night. The author Shauna Niequist shared in one of her stories that the secret to amazing scrambled eggs is low and slow. Low heat, cold pan and slow cooking. Since my prior method was to crank that little dial to “7” or “8” and scramble the eggs in about three seconds flat, I was wondering if my hating eggs had something to do with my method. So, I tried hers out. And now I love scrambled eggs. I make them almost every morning, and Charlotte starts clapping her hands as soon as she sees me crack them into the pan. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I had a proud-mom moment when she got all excited about the scrambled eggs at Corner Bakery last week but after one taste put them back on her plate and said, “No.”
Low and slow. That’s a lot of waiting on little eggs to curdle. It seems like everyone around me is waiting too. Waiting on a diagnosis. Waiting on a test. Waiting on a pregnancy. Waiting on a husband. Waiting on a job. Waiting to feel normal again. Waiting to hear, “I love you.” Waiting to feel accepted. My dear friend Kimmie has only a few more weeks to wait to hold her baby boy. We’ve been waiting for him for a very, very, very long time–far beyond the eight months he’s been inside her tummy.
On the first day of Lent, I began the #LentChallenge in Matthew and found a little something in chapter 2 I had not noticed before. In verse 13 an angel tells Joseph to take Jesus and Mary and go to Egypt for Herod is trying to find and kill Jesus. Verses 14 starts, “So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.” I know it seems a strange detail to get stuck on, but I was reminded again that God never wastes the wait. He didn’t waste Abraham and Sarah’s wait for a son. He didn’t waste Hannah’s. He didn’t waste Esther’s wait before she approached the king. He didn’t waste Mary and Martha’s wait for Jesus to revive their brother Lazarus. He didn’t waste the Israelites’ wait for deliverance. It seems certain they were tired of waiting. Sarah started making her own plan. Hannah’s desperate pleas started to sound intoxicated. Esther started fasting and walking through worst-case-scenarios. Martha met Jesus on the road to give Him an earful about how this was His fault. And the Israelites whined and complained the whole time. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who really struggles with waiting.
But in every situation God wasn’t missing. He wasn’t absent, and He wasn’t ignoring. Because God never wastes the wait, He was working the whole time. Working in their hearts, working in their cultures and governments and cities, working to piece together every detail according to His perfect plan. It isn’t known exactly how long Joseph, Mary and Jesus had to stay in Egypt, but whether it was days or years God didn’t waste the wait. The Bible doesn’t expound everything Joseph and Mary learned during that season, be it brief or extended, but it seems to indicate one thing–Joseph learned that obeying God, even when it means waiting, leads to blessing.
If you feel stuck in the wait today–maybe like the eggs, a little scrambled and confused–hold on, sweet friend, because God never wastes the wait. He is working. Behold.