“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known,” Jeremiah 33:3.
I’ve walked the one-lane gravel ‘Cemetery Road’ behind our house countless times, pouring my heart out to the God who hears and other times listening for the God who speaks. These two side-by-side aspects of prayer, pouring out and listening in, keep me both rooted in Christ and expectant. I PRAY knowing I have Abba Father’s attention; I WAIT as I give Him mine.
It’s profoundly simple, this knowing and trusting – and yet I find myself constantly wanting to race ahead as if the answers to my prayers will be waiting at the end of that country road, neatly packaged up like a piece of my favorite chocolate.
Sometimes the gain is in the wait.
Phil and Ellen Tuttle have become ministry examples from afar for Kurt and me as we serve in small-town ministry. Phil is President of Walk Thru the Bible and Ellen is on our Flowers Board of Reference. Several years ago, Phil shared about his and Ellen’s years in small-town pastoral ministry. I have Phil’s permission to share what he calls, “Taste the Chocolate” as he lists ways we can celebrate what God is doing. (Full confession- we have this list on our nightstand along with our favorite kinds of chocolate.)
I have many friends who like chocolate, but only one who decorates her kitchen with a chocolate theme including a plaque stating, ‘Nothing chocolate nothing gained.’ While it’s true I might need a reminder not to OD on chocolate, it’s also true I need reminders to savor the spiritually sweet things in life.
Jeremiah 33:3 is this year’s theme for our kids’ club ministry. Even preschoolers can understand ‘wait training’- call to God and wait for His great answers that we can’t even guess!
Waiting to taste the chocolate makes it all the sweeter. However, don’t ever mistake the shape of your favorite wrapped chocolate for a similarly sized wrapped piece of hotel soap! Translation: even after waiting in prayer for a significant time, don’t settle for ‘soap’, keep waiting for those great answers to be revealed in God’s timing. (Don’t worry, I figured out it was soap before I popped it into my mouth).
TASTE THE CHOCOLATE by Phil Tuttle
- Leading someone to Christ
- Developing a young leader
- Sending good people off
- Marrying a godly couple
- Welcoming a new baby
- Helping restore a marriage
- Watching God answer prayers
- Experiencing God’s provision
- Burying a faithful believer
- Seeing long term fruit
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