Give Me Patience Now!
Verse 7 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 now takes another shift as he prepares to close his letter with another brief reminder of something that can easily take a back burner in our lives.
Patience. A word that doesn’t always reflect family life, whether that is our bloodline family or our church family. It doesn’t even reflect our day to day personal lives on a regular basis. We are often in a hurry because we have either packed our schedule so full, are running late or all the above. I would dare to guess that most of us have multiple instances in our week when we find ourselves sputtering because someone is keeping us back from the pace we are wanting to go. Maybe it is the car in front of us that is going strictly the speed limit or maybe it is the person in front of us at the check-out lane at the store who is conversing with the cashier as they load their groceries on the belt.
These and many other situations keep us from enjoying the moments in life that are flying by. But our impatience also reflects our view of this earth. We may not have thought about it that way before but when we become impatient it is usually because something is interfering with our life plan.
Notice that before showing a good example of someone being patient James mentions the end sight we should be focused on. We are to be patient until the Lord’s coming. This is a gentle reminder that this life isn’t all that there is and it definitely isn’t all that we are living for. The readers of this letter were likely hoping that Jesus would return quickly as they were not wanting to continue the persecution they had faced. But they needed patience because God had ways He was wanting to use them.
While waiting for something to grow can seem to take forever, it is important for us to be patient in the wait. To force something to grow more quickly can diminish the quality of the plant. To make a piece of iron take shape more quickly can make the item weak in spots and even crack. To hurry a child to adulthood can rob the child of the imagination that comes with play. To make something happen before its time can cause lasting issues. Just ask Sarah and Abraham who thought God was taking too long in giving them a son. They ended up with broken relationships with Hagar and Ismael (Genesis 16:1-16 and Genesis 21:1-21). Patience with each other won’t happen if we are not focused on being patient, waiting for God and His timing.
Making It Personal
When do you find yourself being most impatient? Who do you get most impatient with? Do you get impatient with God when you don’t think He is working fast enough on something for your life?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to be impatient? Do you get impatient with anyone? Who do you need to be patient with today?
Father, forgive us for getting impatient with You and Your timing. Forgive us also for the times we are impatient with others around us. Help us see that when we focus on You, the things of this world are not as significant. In Jesus’ name, amen.