Today, I went to Tamarind, my favorite Indian restaurant, after work because I felt like eating comfort food. Whenever I go to Tamarind, I prepare to wait 15 to 20 minutes for my meal even though the restaurant can’t accommodate many customers.
But I don’t mind because I know that the serving of Ragda Pattice, a lentil dish with thick round potato patties in the center, will taste like it’s made by someone who is passionate about cooking.
The wait seemed a bit longer than usual today, but perhaps that was because I was hungry and flavors and spices floated from the kitchen into the dining area. I tried to focus on the statistics book I brought with me.
After a while, the gentleman who co-owns Tamarind with his wife, walked up to me.
“Are you number 690?” he asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“Your food is ready.”
I whisper, “Yay!” and quickly close my text book, wrap my scarf around my neck, and walk to the counter where he has neatly packaged the lentils and other items I ordered.
“I’m sorry about the wait,” he said.
“I’m happy to wait.” I smile. “Because I know it’s going to taste so good.”
The owner chuckles and grins at me in return.
This evening, as I munched on my wonderful lentils that taste like they’re made with love, the Lord brought my brief conversation with the owner to my mind, and began ministering to my heart.
There are many things I am waiting for, and the wait seems unbearably long sometimes. Perhaps the hardest part is that none of these promises from the Lord can be obtained through some sort of earthly business transaction. If that was the case, I would have taken matters into my own hands by now.
But instead, I simply have to wait, and while I wait, I must continue to do as I have always tried to do: to follow Jesus, step by step and day by day. And all the while, growing in relationship with Him without losing faith.
That is the hardest part, I think, is not to lose faith. To avoid becoming one of those people in Mark 4:19 whose seed was smothered by the worries and weariness of this life. To avoid becoming bitter and angry and downcast. That is the true battle, perhaps, in waiting. To exist with great cheer of heart whether I have finally received the promise or not.
But the parable the Lord provided today is not about a failure to receive what is long-awaited. Rather, it is about taking joy in the waiting because I am confident that option its arrival, the gift will taste oh so sweet.