“See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too be patient and stand firm because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:7-8
One of the things I’ve come to realize about human perception versus Godly perception is that people tend to see what is directly in front of them versus God who sees the bigger picture. God’s big picture hope for all of us is that we become people of PATIENCE. Unfortunately, there is only one way to become a patient person, and that is to practice waiting. For example, a person who has never had to wait for much and is accustomed to getting what they want fairly quickly has not learned patience. On the contrary, they are probably rather impatient.
When I moved to Kazakhstan as a missionary, I realized for the first time, that I am extremely impatient. I am not accustomed to waiting for two hours to do a simple banking transaction. Nor am I used to sitting on a bus for an hour (to another city), only to realize that the bus only leaves when the bus is full! I haven’t experienced much of that in the United States. But for the people of Kazakhstan this is a normal everyday experience. Thus, they are quite good at patiently waiting for desired outcomes. They were not born patient, but learned it through many situations of having to wait.
I believe one of the things God wants to develop in us, especially in today’s context, is patience. The only way that can happen is by learning to live in the “not yet”. We do not yet see our church worshiping as we want, singing freely and hugging one another, but we wait patiently for that day. We do not yet see economic stability and the increase of jobs but we wait patiently for the day when people will be doing better once again. We do not yet see our resurrected bodies and souls, but even in the midst illness and death, we wait patiently for the day when the Lord will bring us home at last. Today’s verse states that a farmer does not yet see the harvest, but waits patiently for the spring and autumn rains.
One of the things God is doing even though we don’t see it in front of us is cultivating patience. And when I say patience, I mean not as something we “do” but as “who we are” – God is wanting us to “become” patient people. A patient person will benefit in their relationships with their children and spouses. A patient person will remain calm when things aren’t going as planned. A patient person will learn to let go of the things they cannot control and leave the results to God. This is what God is cultivating beneath the surface. This is God’s big picture. And all that we are enduring right now is the season of waiting for that day of harvest.
May we be reminded that even in the midst of all kinds of desolation, God is producing in us something beautiful – the seed of patience, which will manifest one day into a beautiful tree that gives life within us and around us. The day of the Lord’s return, a day of deliverance, healing, and fruitfulness is coming soon! Until that day, let us patiently and in faith, for God’s return.
Waiting in hope,