Upon returning home from work today, I decided I would NOT try to go out to volleyball tonight. The roads weren’t too bad but after almost getting stuck 3 times going in/out of the church parking lot today, I decided not to press my luck (for lack of a better phrase). Instead, seeing multiple unused yeast packets in my fridge, I decided to make some bread.
As this process has gone on this evening, I’ve realized that sometimes what God is doing in our life is kind of a lot like making bread, especially the process of kneading the dough.
There seem to be a rhythm to it… a process… repeated… necessary … for the bread to turn out.
Knead. Rest. Rise. Knead. Rest. Rise.
I feel like we’re constantly somewhere in this process as God shapes us into who he wants us to be. As I look back over the past few months, I see God working in my life like a baker works with dough. There have been some areas of my life where God has come and said, “Let me knead some Truth into that, Bekah.”
But kneading it’s not always a pleasant process. Some descriptors in the kneading section of the recipe I used tonight were “punch,” “squeeze,” “stretch,” “pound,” “twist”. When we think about the possibility of God doing these things in our lives… to our hearts, it does not sound like a very fun process.
Oh, but God understands the need to knead.
He’s got to work that yeast, His Truth, through our whole lives. Sometimes that truth comes like a punch to the gut. Other times he needs to stretch us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it comes as a pound on the door of our heart simply saying, “Something’s not right here. Let me fix it.”
As God continues to knead our lives, it hurts, but it’s good. It also takes time. Those 10 minutes (or 10 hours, or 10 months, or 10 years) seem like forever, but God knows the perfect amount of time needed to knead.
I also realized that the process isn’t exactly the most exciting for the Kneader as well… the punching, the squeezing, the stretching, the pounding, the twisting… it’s hard work. And maybe that’s what it means to know that we are His “workmanship”.
And then, in the perfect time, the kneading ends, at least for a while, and the dough is shaped and placed in a ball in a bowl, covered with a towel and left alone.
Sometimes when God’s been working on us for so long… for those 10 days or weeks or months or years, it kind of seems weird for the kneading to stop. I mean it seems in my life that just when I get used to the kneading, and finally believe the Baker for its necessity, that’s when He says, “Okay, now it’s time to rest.” Sometimes it even feels as if I’ve simply been beat up and left alone. But God does not leave, he only knows our need to rest and let His Truth do its work… to rise up in our hearts and bring healing to the areas where he’s punched, squeezed, and stretched us.
But again, that’s often not the end of the process. After the certain time… known by the Baker alone, the process begins again…. the punching, the pounding, the twisting, the shaping. Again, it’s crucial, it has to happen. There is a need for our lives to be kneaded… shaped again and again by the Master Baker.
And then He tells us to rest once more, letting Truth rise up in our hearts.
Again and again this process takes place.
Knead. Rest. Rise. Knead. Rest. Rise.
Through the process we just have to trust that He knows what He’s doing. The dough doesn’t knead itself… the dough doesn’t know how long to wait in the resting period… the dough doesn’t know how many times it needs to be kneaded before going to the oven. But the Baker does.
Lord, teach me to give in to Your kneading… Your pounding, Your twisting, Your stretching and squeezing… and help me to rest when I just need to let your Truth rise up in my soul.