As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
James 5:7-12 New Revised Standard Version (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.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. I also garden now. There is not much more challenging to a farmer (or gardener) who has worked the soil to be the right consistency, hoed and planted the seed with just the right amount of space apart and then waiting for the crop to grow. Not enough rain, the seed won’t sprout. Too much rain, the seed smothers.
Patience, especially when working with things that need to grow, is difficult. Just ask a farmer who has had a rainy season and can’t get the crop in. Or, one that has had to do a replant because there wasn’t enough rain and the grasshoppers ate what few plants surfaced.
Patience often wears thin in farming. There are many years the farmer barely makes enough to pay the costs of planting the crop. Yet, year after year, a farmer will plant the crop in anticipation of a great yield. And, when there is a great harvest, the farmer forgets about the bad years.
James is telling the reader in this scripture something very similar to that of a farmer and a crop. Christians may suffer like the farmers who have a bad year. However, one is to endure and be patient – despite things not looking too good. God will bless those who persevere and remain strong in their faith.
God, grant us strength to endure and patience to remain strong in all of life’s circumstance. Amen.
Go with God!