Consider: The Farmers Who Patiently Wait

4 08 2010

Part 7 of “Consider This”

What do you do while you are waiting? I usually try to find some distraction, so I

a)    Read a book

b)   Journal

c)    Play “Angry Birds” (my new, ridiculous, obsession)

d)   Listen to the CBC (I’m not kidding)

e)    Make a list

f)     Phone someone

On most days, I would prefer not to wait. I would like to time things out perfectly so that no time is wasted because the way I see it, waiting is just the thing I do in between what’s important.

But what if waiting was the important part?

James 5:7 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return.”

Now, when is the last time I thought seriously about the Lord’s return? To tell you the truth, I don’t think a lot about it. I am not scanning the skies; I don’t wake up and say, “today?” I think about Jesus a lot and I understand the exciting inevitability of meeting Him when I die; but as for today, I think more in terms of the present journey. I don’t know when He is going to return (the Bible says I cannot) so mostly I have been looking at what’s now and what’s next.

The assumption in the book of James though, is that I am waiting; it is telling me that actually I have been waiting for 42 years; my whole life. Waiting implies a part one and part two and it is strangely comforting to know that about my life. This is only part of what God has for me and there is more to come; but I am stuck with a question then: what shall I do in the meantime?

James continues,

Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

James doesn’t say, “Since you are waiting, keep yourself entertained.” Strange, because I think this is what most of us have heard. Also, he doesn’t say, “Wait it out.” He says, “As you wait.” He assumes we all get it that the big thing is not the here and now; this isn’t all there is; so we can all agree then? We are waiting for the Lord’s return. Now, in the meantime, consider the farmers.

I am a city-girl, but even I know that while a farmer may wait for a valuable harvest, there’s a whole-lotta legwork that has happened beforehand: soil prep, seed-planting, weeding, tending and such. That should keep us busy for a while (while we wait). There is the knowing where and when and how. And then there is an eye to the weather, oh yeah and the patience part.

Patience. James says, while you are waiting: be patient. Perfect; because patience is so easy (ha). I think of patience as “biding my time and biting my tongue” but there is more to it then that. Look what we must consider about patience:

  • Patience means having a long, enduring, and expectant spirit. We must not lose heart half way through the season. We only have so much time while we wait, so don’t cut out early.
  • Patience means keeping one eye on what we are planting and one eye to what we can imagine is coming and persevere. Every day is one day closer to Christ’s return, so get busy.
  • Patience means enduring through misfortunes and troubles and learning from them. Don’t check out because of hard-times, be steady, steady; be watchful and see what will happen during this time of your life.
  • Patience means that even though there will be detractors and those who both offend us and are offended by us; though we might even be injured by other people’s actions, we must keep our hat on and be mild and slow with our responses.
  • Patience means we must be long-suffering, slow to get angry, slow to go after people. If you knew you were waiting half-an-hour for something, would you bother getting into a useless argument? Try to think of your life as half-an-hour.

Waiting takes on a bit of a different feel in light of all that.  Yes, it is what I do in between, but it isn’t a time to be wasted. And no, we don’t wait forever, so hang in there. In fact, it is such a short amount of time, best not waste it. We only have so much time to plant what we will, so much time to tend what we have, and then we will see what comes of it all.

— Teresa Klassen




2 responses

11 08 2010
His mirror-image

Wow this is awesome, thanks for this lesson on waiting, I am currently learning to be patient about many things, I have to go over and read this again 🙂

11 08 2010

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