Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. 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.
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Waiting. Wait a minute. Wait your turn. There will be a 40 minute wait. You’ll have to wait a few weeks for your referral letter to come though. You’ll need to wait for your name to come up to the top of the list. You’ll have to wait to see what the market is doing. You can wait here, hold the line, try again later?
How long will I have to wait before I have enough money to buy a house? For a successful interview? For my exam results? To see a consultant? To receive care for me / my family? To meet a life-long partner?
I am waiting - will I ever? See my Dad again? Be free of this pain? Have confidence? Have a baby? Be reconciled with my family?
Waiting can of course at times be little more than a frustration, but so often isn’t what really bothers us about waiting, in fact the fear of hearing news we wish were not true, and fear of never realising the hopes, dreams and desires of our souls? Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of what we have, or what we may never attain?
And of course our experience shows that if our waiting comes to an end, it can truly be a result of the deepest joy when our hope has been fulfilled, or the deepest brokenness and grief for when our dream has died.
This passage in James in the midst of ‘waiting’ can be a tough read - you could be forgiven for taking it as ‘Others have suffered worse than you - get on with it.’
But Jesus, in the beauty of this incredible story of birth, grows up to be a man who’s words and actions tell us that he dances with us in our joy, and weeps with us in our sadness.
It would be foolish to ever try to comprehend God’s plan for our lives, so we have to have faith to trust in His promises, in His plan for salvation.
Easier said than done? You bet! I tell you, if I were Joseph, Abraham, Sarah, Elizabeth, Job, Naomi, Esther.... there are plenty of points when I would have had a fair few things to say to God! And I say with some certainty, I don’t know that my character or faith would have survived many of the things they experienced.
Want to read more about what faithful
men and women of God have endured? Hebrews Ch 11 is a great passage.
Whatever you may be waiting for, know that you are not alone. God cares about you, He knows you, He promises to be with you. Take one day at a time.
When I am waiting, I go through the full spectrum of emotions and cognitive behaviours.
I also have very loving and patient friends. Let Jesus be the most loving friend you can share your waiting with, don’t try to shoulder it alone.