Last week, on Wednesday evening, I took a 3-hour bread-making class with my sister Kristin at Breads Bakery in New York City. The bakery is my favorite in the city and it’s famous for its chocolate babka.
Before the class, Kristin and I formulated a plan–we’d eat just a light lunch. That way we’d have enough room for all the freshly baked delicacies. All day at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about bread. I could practically hear it calling my name from Union Square!
Finally, at 5 p.m., I made it to class. Now, I’ve come clean before about my questionable dance moves. And I’m sorry to say the same is true of my cooking skills! I can manage okay with eggs and pasta… and that’s about it.
But Chef Uri Scheft assured our class that baking bread wasn’t too complicated. It all came down to four ingredients–flour, yeast, water and salt. A basic combo with endless possibilities.
We got to work on our first recipe, challah bread. We mixed the yeast and water, then added flour and salt. Chef Scheft advised us to forget about fancy bread mixing machines and just use our hands to knead the dough. So that’s what we did.
While we waited for our challah to rise, we got started on focaccia. More kneading. More waiting. Olive-cheese bread sticks were next. And, yes, even more kneading and waiting.
Almost two hours in, my arms were tired and my stomach was growling. How could something so simple take so long? Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to bake bread from scratch?
“I’m starving!” I grumbled to Kristin, the dough sticking to my fingers like paste.
“Me too,” she said. “I can’t even think straight!”
Thankfully, while our bread was in the oven, the bakery put out some snacks for us to sample. But the good stuff was yet to come. When I spotted our golden-brown bread cooling off on the table, I was glad we waited.
The smell was intoxicating. And the taste? Amazing. Like what I imagine happiness might taste like! Making bread from a ball of dough took time, yes, but it was worth the wait.
I think it's the same way with miracles. Often I find myself begging and pleading with God for a miracle, only to get no answer in reply. I’m impatient–I want a genius solution to my problem right away. Just like that unbelievably delicious bread, though, miracles take time. They aren’t instantaneous.
Sometimes we have to go through a journey of “kneading” before we get the miracle we've been hoping for. We’re exhausted, hungry, at our wit’s end. But in the end, God’s wonders are also totally worth the wait.
So if you’re searching for a miracle, don’t give up. Keep at it! God works in extraordinary ways, if only we’re patient. That’s a lesson I learned with just four simple ingredients.
Have you ever experienced a miracle or moment of clarity while cooking–and waiting? Share your story below!
Take a breath, hit the pause button. Then watch this stunning video of Psalm 53 being sung in Aramaic before Pope Francis.