Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.” (James 5:7)
I guess with all of the rain we have been having lately, I couldn’t help but try to think of it in a positive way. I found myself feeling guilty complaining about it, when there is a major drought in some states in the west. I lost patience when it seemed like it would literally stop raining while I was indoors doing errand running and then the torrential downpours would happen , just as I needed to unload or get something from outdoors!!
Patience has a specific hope in Christ’s return. James tells the brothers to be patient “until” the coming of the Lord. The future return of Christ is the event that motivates Christians to persevere in the endurance of suffering. James is speaking to the people about patiently waiting on the Lord and providing them an analogy to further understand what he is trying to say.
In the life of the farmer, the autumn and spring rains have a similar role. If the farmer could not hope for the rains, all the plowing and planting and weeding would be all for nothing. Rain (literally, the “early and late rains“) is a standard Old Testament image of God’s promised faithfulness (Jeremiah 5:24 and Joel 2:23, as well as Deuteronomy 11:14). God has promised these “rains”; therefore the farmer can be patient in laboring. Even so, God has promised Christ’s return; therefore believers can be patient in their hardships. Do you want to learn patience? Contemplate the hope of Christ’s return.
There are seasons on this side of heaven when God’s presence is so wonderful and real and seasons when we doubt He’s even there. Let me tell you- He is still there!! It is during those “dry” times (between the rains) when our faith is being tested the most.
Sometimes we feel God sure is taking His time! Exactly. God is trying to achieve a specific result. One that we cannot not possibly imagine, and one we cannot partake in if we were not patient. There is a process that God is after. This falls in line with another passage in the book of James, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2)
I know, I know, the “times between the rains” or “between God’s outpouring” of wonderful blessings on our lives are anything BUT beautiful. But that is where the relationship between you and God begins to blossom.