“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.”
James 5: 7-8 The Message
Our impatience can ruin things. I talked with a friend who does body work on cars. He explained how painting cars was a multi-step process, with many thin layers of paint laid down successively to achieve a satisfying final sheen. The worst thing an auto painter can do is to start painting another coat before the one underneath is completely dry. This is so important to the process that my friend actually sets a timer for himself between every coat of paint. He doesn’t want to be tempted to rush the process, and ruin the paint job.
Patience is a virtue. We all are familiar with this phrase. A virtue is defined as a behavior showing high moral standards. Many seek high moral standards, including patience. Pursuing this virtue requires us to resist the things that can pull us down, distract us, or entice us to move away from what we are to achieve. There is a difference between knowing about and appreciating patience, and actually practicing it.
How patient are we? Are we able to wait for God’s timing? Do we want to rush things? Paul reminds those who are waiting for the Master to arrive that it will not happen overnight. Perhaps he feared that they would interpret the Lord’s delay as a sign of God not caring for his people. Often, people who are impatient assume the worst. Impatience can also lead to impulsiveness, and bad decisions.
Almost everything good in life- from healthy crops to eat, to good family relationships, to thriving communities, to strong nations- none of these are built overnight. Patience is needed. What we love and cherish the most in life cannot be created instantly.
Farmers are a model of us: they work the land. They plant, and they irrigate. They also strive to rid their fields of pests and weeds. Yet they also spend a lot of time just waiting. Waiting for plants to first emerge from the soil after seeds are planted. Waiting for the right time to prune. Waiting especially for just the right time to harvest the crops.
It is better to wait upon the Lord for what we truly need. Not only ripe crops, but everything in life.
“God has made everything beautiful in its time.”
May we all seek the beautiful virtue of patience, waiting upon the Lord for His perfect timing. After all, love is patient…
Patient and loving Lord,
I confess that more often than I would like to admit, I am impatient. Sometimes the frustrations of life overwhelm me with negative thoughts, and I lose sight of You. Forgive me when I neglect to love others, even becoming irritated and annoyed with them. Instead, help me to be patient and understanding. Thank You for the patience You show me time after time. May I learn to trust in You, and find Your peace and patience in every area of my life. You call me to trust You, and Your timing. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.