Instant Oatmeal did a great job of easing my morning rush and my guilt as a young mother rushing off to work. In just sixty seconds, I could provide a hot meal for my toddler, albeit a mushy one loaded with sugar and fake fruit bits. Two guys from Illinois patented the concept of instant oatmeal in 1961, and many of us have not known anything else since.
We sometimes think our fast-paced lives require instant everything. It wasn’t long until my list of instant go-to things included mashed potatoes, soups, and coffee. What seemed like a blessed shortcut, though, often compromised quality, flavor, and some healthier aspects. Worse yet, my desire for everything fast or faster creeped into the way I lived my life and the way I prayed.
You see, I have prayers that are old and musty. My heart holds desires that have settled in like they’ll be there forever. I have dreams I’ve worked toward for years with little progress. So I get agitated. I want answers, and I expect everything served up in 60-seconds.
The answers to our prayers are being prepared for us, and in us, at just the right time..~Cynthia Mendenhall, author of Spunkify Your Life: 8 Secrets to Living with More Focus, Fascination, and Fun
Twenty-five years after my toddler-feeding days, my friend and whole-food plant-based guide made me a bowl of old-fashioned rolled oats. Victoria covered the pot and in thirty minutes served the glistening oatmeal with cinnamon, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Oh my! The texture was wonderful and filling. The flavor tempted me to write notes of apology to my daughter. I became a walking billboard for the stuff.
God and I were chatting a few weeks later when I lamented about his timing. I admitted maybe I didn’t want to wait for his best in some areas—maybe I would settle for less and learn to be happy with that. Then I remembered Victoria’s oatmeal and this promise:
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.~Habakkuk 2:3b NLT
Here’s the thing: in the waiting—the time it took for the old-fashioned stuff to cook—it wasn’t that nothing was happening. The two of us had propped back in comfy seats with our feet up. We enjoyed hot mugs of coffee, and we shared with each another, waking slowly to prepare for a new day filled with all sorts of potential.
This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.~Habakkuk 2:3a NLT
So the next time you’re tempted to grumble about God’s plans and answers not being delivered quite fast enough, think about prayers like oatmeal. Maybe then we can learn to take a big breath in our waiting, look around, and find all the good things happening while we wait. God is working; the answers to our prayers are being prepared for us, and in us, at just the right time.The next time you’re tempted to grumble about God’s plans and answers not being delivered quite fast enough, think about prayers like oatmeal. #VineWords @cmendenhall2011 #PrayersLikeOatmeal Click To Tweet
Prop up your feet, sip a mug of coffee, and share your heart with the Lord in an unhurried way. Trust that your hopes, dreams, and prayers are being answered, because they are coming–in His time, and in His way. Everything is on its way; trust Him. All will be fulfilled. Yes, all will be fulfilled.
What are you waiting to receive from God? Are you willing to wait for His best?
Dear Father, I thank You for your faithfulness to me. You hold my dreams in Your hand. You know the prayers of my heart. I trust You, and I will wait patiently and expectantly for the best You have for me. Help me to trust You and to enjoy the wait, for You are creating results that are so much better than instant oatmeal.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Prayers Like Oatmeal: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Cynthia Mendenhall is an author, speaker, adventuress, and a contributing writer to VineWords: Devotions and More.
Her devotions specialize in victory over traumas such as divorce, or other life-altering situations. She encourages the reader to fully embrace her single-again status, and she inspires her to live every day to the fullest regardless of the challenges she may be working through. Once captive to guilt and fear, and hurt by the loss of a 30-year marriage, Cynthia now pursues with passion the mission of leading others into the true freedom, love, and abundant life, the believer can experience in Jesus Christ.
Cynthia is a former high school English teacher and holds a Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership. She is a Certified Christian Life Coach, a trained Chaplain, and is employed as a Career and Leadership Coach for students of Ohio University.
Her prescriptive non-fiction sits within the context of stories filled with common sense teaching, splashes of humor, and always with the Bible as her foundation. Her voice is that of a friend sharing conversation over coffee.
Cynthia is the author of Spunkify Your Life: 8 Secrets to Living with More Focus, Fascination, and Fun; Spunkify Your Life Growth Guide, and Spunkier Yet!: 8 Secrets to Living with More Fullness and Freedom
Cynthia enjoys spending time at the beach. She regularly sneaks away on all sorts of adventures, taking notes along the way as writing material inspiration. Her favorite activities include riding her cruiser bike, sunset floats in her lime green kayak named Earl, and indulging in literary novels, sipping coffee, and sampling dark chocolate.
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