James 5:7-8 – Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
How many of you are like me and already don’t like this verse after just the second word? Our society is not a patient one – we don’t drive the speed limit and we’ve invented drones to bring things immediately, so we don’t even have to leave the house to drive to the store.
In these verses, James gives the analogy that human history is like farming. No matter what type of tree it is, you can’t make it produce fruit faster. What happens if you yell at the tree? Threaten it? Cry and throw a fit to emotionally manipulate it? Bribe it? Nothing!
The tree has its own timeframe for its fruitfulness and there’s nothing a farmer can do to speed that up. Human history is a lot like that. There’s only so much we can control and the rest, we must leave up to God’s timing and will.
James uses the words “patient”, “being patient”, “patience”, “steadfast” and “steadfastness” in verses 7-8 and the following few verses. James wrote this about 2000 years ago saying that we needed to wait for Jesus’ return and we’re still waiting. When we start suffering, we start wishing Jesus’ return would just come already. But we have to remember that Jesus looks at human history like a farmer looks at a harvest. Even though we wish Jesus came back 30 seconds after we got saved, He knows that there’s still more people who need to be saved before He returns. We must trust His plan and faithfully, patiently wait in the meantime.
What have you tried to force or speed up that wasn’t part of God’s plan for your life at that moment or at all?