February 23, 2018

James 5:7-9

I’m the granddaughter (and great-granddaughter) of West Texas cotton farmers. My grandfather was one of the first to bring irrigation farming to the red dusty fields of that part of the country. Because the responsibilities of managing a large farm were great, my father can remember very few family vacations. During planting season, the field had to be overturned, rows carefully plowed, seed planted. Then, irrigation pipes had to be changed so that water would reach each acre. Not to speak of hoeing (or later spraying) weeds. And in all of this, there was the strong possibility a crop would get “hailed out”—a metaphor my grandfather used from time to time for life. What amazing patience!

James says we would do well to learn from the patient farmer. The farmer’s patience is based not on the rain that comes or doesn’t come today, but on the joy of the harvest. As the farmer looks to the harvest, the waiting has a purpose.

So, what does that mean for you and me? Through James, God’s command to us is to be patient until the Lord’s coming. When Christ comes, all of this will make sense. We’ll see the purpose for his work of patience in our lives. The joy of his appearing and being made like him will make all the waiting seem so very small. Or as Paul says, we see that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV). Patiently wait, and as you do, look to his glorious return.