Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. –James 5:7-8, NIV
I have to admit, I’m an impatient gardener. I buy my veggies pre-started, because once I’ve tilled my plot, smoothed it and have it ready to plant, I want to see something green for my efforts. If I stuck to the old fashioned (and more economical) way, I’d poke hard little seeds into the ground, water the bare dirt and…wait. The sun would rise and set, and…I’d still have to wait. Seven to fourteen days, depending on the veggie.
Not my cup of dirt. So, my favorite local nursery gladly accepts my green cash in exchange for their green plants. I carry them home in a flat, let them sit in a sheltered spot for a while, and then set their roots into the cool, loose dirt. Viola! My garden is beautiful. No waiting.
Farmers? They don’t roll that way—because it’s way too expensive. They plow the dirt and plant the seed, and then suck it up and employ some patience, because they have a grander vision than my small plot of veggies. They have more acres to grow than I have wrinkles in my brain, and the best way to farm on a large scale is to wait.
Jesus referred to the world as a field and he commissioned his disciples to get to work. It’s a tough job, though, planting seeds of faith and waiting for green to spout. I seem to want to rush the harvest. Heaven sounds pretty good, and especially on days when I feel wind-whipped and thirsty, I think, “When Lord? How much longer do we have to wait?”
But the God of the planting is the also the God of the harvest. He knows the perfect time to sow, as well as the exact moment to gather. I may think the season of ripeness is here, but my view is hardly panoramic; His is all encompassing. So He leaves me with this admonition: “be patient and stand firm. I am coming.”
His time. Not mine.