Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
James 5:7-12 (NRSV)
Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
It is so very hard to be patient, isn’t it? We seemingly just cannot wait, especially when there is uncertainty about what will happen next. Sure, children can be incredibly impatient, but not many adults have mastered patience either. In this passage, James has a clear read on human nature; he warns against all the normal human reactions to impatience—weakness of spirit, infighting and jealousy, and worst of all, giving up, which means we are not waiting on the Lord.
James gives several examples of those who are able to remain steadfast—the prophets and Job, and the farmer waiting on the rain. In all of these situations, our example had very little control over the future and a long wait, but they remained true to the Lord. Job and the prophets could have given up, changed course, decided they were done waiting on relief and turned away from God, but they didn’t. They remained steadfast through suffering, uncertainty, pain, deprivation, and frustration. The next time we find ourselves waiting on God’s timing, may we all be reminded of these heroes of the faith and take comfort.
Lord, forgive us when impatience and worry overtake us. Forgive us when, in weakness, we turn away from the course you have laid out for us. Help us to look to the examples of steadfast saints. Help us to feel your hand upon us, and to find peace in the journey. Help us to remain in you always, and to bear much fruit. Amen.
Go with God.
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