Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
- James 5:7 NIV
I kneel in the soft brown earth of the garden and feel the warm moisture of the soil. Gently, I tug a weed from its hiding place under the round leaves of a squash plant. Looking up to survey my surroundings, I marvel at the growth of each plant. 'The kale is looking good...wonder when it will be ready?' I think to myself - and resume my task, pulling weeds, tending the garden, practicing patience until all of our crops are ready for harvest.
This scripture in James 5 is about Jesus' return and with everything going on in the world today, its not hard to see that day could really be any day. It changes perspective to think about life this way, and I hope it changes how we live - not living for self, but living for Jesus. I know that's how I want to live - I pray the Lord helps me to live for Him and not myself.
Above, Our peas....
This verse also speaks of patience in waiting, something we must often must practice in our daily lives. Can you think of a time when you really wanted something, but had to wait for it for some reason or another? Sure, we all can think of something like that. Maybe there is something in your life right now that you're praying about and really wanting or needing to happen, but you're in the waiting period. I want to encourage you today not only to have patience, but to realize that the working out of patience in your life will ensure you're not in lack later.
The Bible says in James 1:4 NIV, "Let perserverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." When we wait for something to be fully accomplished in our lives, we can then be sure that all the pieces will come together and nothing will be missing - not in our character, not in our lives, not in our answers to prayer.
Think of it this way.... Remember when I opened this devotional talking about the garden? Suppose I pulled up all of our beautiful, growing plants and ate them right now...because I was tired of waiting; because I became impatient. I would be lacking a garden for the rest of the season and the plants wouldn't have the opportunity to reach maturity. That would be foolishness! But if I am patient and allow the plants to mature, I will be rewarded with a wonderful harvest all season long! The concept is simple...and yet, when it comes right down to it, having patience can seem hard sometimes. When those times come, we can be comforted by the words of 2 Peter 3:9 NIV, which says,
"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
The first thing we can glean from this scripture is that God keeps His promises and He isn't slow about fullfilling them. If the Lord has giving you or me a promise on something - we can rest assured, He WILL keep His promise. The second thing I want us to remember from this verse is that since the Lord is continually showing patience toward us - how much more should we submit to His care and wait patiently for the fulfilling of His promises?
I'll close with a few more very meaningful verses on patience...
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9 NIV
"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:25 NIV
"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly." - Psalm 5:3 NIV
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:14 NIV
God bless you!
By, Jessi Wasell