There Are No Parables About Microwaves in the Bible

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There are no parables about microwaves in the Bible.

Trust me, I’ve looked.

There are stories about plants and animals and people and fishing nets and coins, but not one single parable about a microwave. In fact, out of the 46 parables Jesus told, 40 are about things that are exactly the opposite of a microwave. They are about slow-going, slow-growing, time-consuming things. Things that take an investment of time and care. Things that take years to grow into something of substance.

I like to see results. And like, quickly. I am great at starting things. I am easily inspired and can quickly be filled with All The Feelings at the beginning of an idea. I like buying all the pens and sticky notes and fresh notebooks to prepare for the New Thing that is beginning. What I don’t like is the slow realization that my life isn’t an episode of Full House and there is no neat and tidy solution at the end of my 22-minute sitcom. Solutions are rarely neat and tidy and usually are years in the making.

Sigh.

It’s in the middle that I get restless. I get a little weary and slightly annoyed that this New Thing isn’t shiny and, well, new any more. It’s just work. And waiting. Work and waiting. And, folks, I can handle the work, but I just cannot deal with the waiting. I can’t. It’s the waiting that compels me to run, give up and find a New-er Thing.

It’s the waiting.

I don’t garden because I can’t wait for things to grow. That, and I can’t remember to consistently water whatever it is my mom has planted, so my house will not be the embarrassment of the neighborhood. I have never been able to maintain even a single houseplant. Every year when I have attempted a garden, it’s looked like an Addams Family project by the end of June. Frankly, it’s a miracle I have kept three kids alive for as long as I have. The feeding and the watering and the nurturing and the waiting takes SO DANG LONG.

That’s why I’ve been looking for a parable about a microwave. Or an express train. I’d even be happy with a story about the 10-items-or-less lane at the grocery store. Just something that didn’t involve so much time and patience!

But that’s not how God works. That’s not how God works, because God knows that’s not how we work. Not really. We are not really good with All Of A Suddens. We need time. Time to think, prepare, ponder. That’s why God does things the way God does. He gives us time to know Him, to trust Him. He gives us time to see what He can do.

Israel had been waiting for their promised Messiah for generations. They had hoped for and prayed for their Redeemer to come to their rescue and right the wrongs in the world. They dreamed not only of a Redeemer, but of a mighty Warrior-King who would bring forth a revolution the likes of which the world had never seen. They were waiting for a reckoning.

What they got was a baby.

Not exactly what they were expecting. They had ordered up a Deluxe Model Messiah, but what they received was a Savior-seedling. They wanted an instant rescue, but what God gave them was an opportunity to know Him in an entirely new and magnificent way. Their Messiah had come, but He had some growing up to do. And so did they.

Jesus had to grow–in mind and body. He had to mature. He had to earn His skill and His character. He had to build relationships. And those things take time. They take a lifetime. And that’s what He spent His life doing.

He gathered people to Him. By His reputation, by His stories, by the magnitude of His love. Once He had them gathered, He was able to explain how God’s Kingdom really works. He was able to lay out the time-consuming, love-investment that God had already made so that He, Jesus, could be sitting in their midst in that moment. He was able to talk of crops and coins and sheep and relationships. He was able to connect with a people who had waited generations for Him, because He spoke their language.

And He speaks mine.

Despite my disdain for waiting, I can see a beauty in the moments between Hope and Hope Realized. It’s a terrible, painful beauty sometimes, but it is still there. It’s in those waiting moments–or years–that I have come to know God as faithful and just and good. Even when–especially when–my waiting has not yielded the results I’d hoped for. It’s in those waiting moments that I have grown and become ready for what was to come.

Years ago, when I was walking through some Real Life Stuff, a friend hugged me and whispered in my ear, “Even still, God is good.” Those five words took my breath away. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. But in my heart, I felt the truth. Even still, God is good.

Even when things don’t turn out how I want, in the timing I want, God is good. He is good because He is in the waiting with me. He is in my impatience, my doubting, my frustration. He is in all the in-between moments as I wait for Him to do something and He waits for me to be ready.  He is there, with me. And He gives me people to be in the waiting with me, too.

God is into relationship. It’s His thing. It’s the thing He has waited for. It’s the thing He came for and it’s the thing He stays for. The relationship. With us. The Ones He has Redeemed. How magnificent is that?

There is one thing I’m okay waiting for, though. Because I know Him, there is one thing I am totally chill about waiting for: I never pray for Jesus to return quickly. I don’t. I know He’ll come back when He’s ready. When He knows we’re ready. In the meantime, I’m okay with waiting. I’m okay with filling my time with growing my mind, my heart and, let’s face it, at this time of year the body tends to grow a bit, too. I’m okay with waiting and growing and building like Jesus did.

Especially the building part. Although He was a carpenter, the greatest things Jesus built were not things at all, they were relationships. Each person He connected with was one more person saved for eternity. Each person He loved on was one more person loved into His Kingdom. Each person He spoke to was one more person called into a forever relationship with Him.

Seriously, how magnificent is that?

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Nichole Forbes
Nichole is just a regular gal loved by an extraordinary God. She believes in community, justice and freedom. She tries to live brave everyday and to say the kind words that need to be heard. She raises her three Not-So-Wee-Ones in the middle of the Canadian prairies with her favorite person ever, her husband, Brad. On an average day you can find her running errands in her really rad mini-van while sipping coffee and rocking out to The BeeGees. She blogs and is the author of Finding Me in Him: One Woman’s Journey to Discovering Her Identity in Christ.
Nichole Forbes
Nichole Forbes

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  • I honestly thought that patience came with age. I turned 60 this year, and I”m sorry to report it seems to be the opposite. I appreciate you pointing out most of the parables were about nurture and growing, things that aren’t meant to be rushed. Thanks for this bit of wisdom today.

    • Nichole Bilcowski Forbes

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading 💙 I was surprised about how many parables involved patience and waiting. I’m not good with the patience all the time. Lol. But I’m learning!

  • Sue Hay

    What beautifully written truth. I love how you have crafted this to draw us in to the story.

    • Nichole Bilcowski Forbes

      Thank you, Sue!
      ❤️

  • Margie Berry

    I appreciate so much this well-written article. I, personally, am a waiter, as in, “one who waits.” All my life I have taken the slow roads in just about every area of my life. I love the process. It was very interesting to hear your perspective from one who wants the “microwave life.” How good it is of God to touch us where we are, even if we are traveling at lightning speed to accomplish our tasks or are the slow pokes. One of my favorite sayings is “slow and steady wins the race.” May you learn to find joy in the process and thank you for this fine article.

    • Nichole Bilcowski Forbes

      Thank you. I marvel at people who are at peace in the waiting. I am trying to learn to hold peace no matter how long the wait is.
      💙

  • yes, brilliant title. The best things in my life have been the things that I have had to wait quite a while for. I love the verse from Romans 8:24 “Now hope that is seen is not hope at all, for who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have we wait for it patiently.” It is in this hope that we are saved.