Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Can A Little Child Like Me"1 (Lyrics)
James 5:7-8 – Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. (NIV)
Our gardens did amazingly well this year. The cauliflowers, however, were just not producing. Their leaves were truly gigantic but there was no fruit. The celery was harvested, and then, the broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, corn, and cabbage all followed. But no cauliflowers. We read up on cauliflowers online and came to the conclusion that we must have put too much nitrogen in the soil, which can cause an abundance of huge leaves but no heads.
Thus, we began to discuss pulling them all out and feeding them to the livestock. When my brother called from Mexico, however, I told him about the problem, and his advice was to wait. "Cauliflowers are always last," he said, "but they will come." Hmmm, we thought. We hope that he knows what he's talking about.
So, we waited … and waited. Then one day, we saw the beginnings of tiny, white heads amidst those gigantic leaves. Still, we never thought that they would mature quickly enough for us to harvest them before the frost. But we continued to have hope, and we waited. And lo and behold, almost overnight, they were huge and ready to be picked, with enough to blanche and freeze for the whole winter.
My brother's wisdom and our patience paid off, big-time.
Likewise, in regard to the coming again of Jesus, we, too, must be patient. Indeed, it has been a long time, according to human standards, but not according to God's standards:
2 Peter 3:8-9 – But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
In light of this truth, let us not get caught up in doubts and loss of patience and faith due to the horrors of war, disease, drought, addictions, and fast-fading morality worldwide. These and similar events may make us wonder why God is apparently not doing anything to intervene amidst so much suffering. The Scriptures make it very clear that God is always at work on our behalf, even when we cannot see or understand it. One day, on the right day, the exact day, He will come again, and when He does, we will discover that our patience has paid off, big-time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, encourage Your people to trust and be patient amidst our waiting for the coming of Jesus. Your time is not our time. But we are fragile and easily discouraged, especially amidst the suffering that we see worldwide. But You do not delay because You are slow, but because You are patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. As we wait, help us to focus on this truth and to spend more time in prayer for those not yet saved. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.