Welcome to DAY 22 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 5:7-11 —
Several summers ago I got passionate about seeing my garden grow. I uprooted weeds, laid down good soil, planted flower beds, and created several hanging baskets full of purple petunias.
I loved my garden. I nursed it almost every day. Until the hot summer weekend we spent at a baseball tournament out of town for my son. I completely forgot to water the hanging baskets. It wasn’t until the following week when I realized I had let the plants dry out. I was so disappointed! I’d started with such passion and yet a little scorching sun had seemingly dried the plant right out.
I decided not to be discouraged and went right back to watering.
I gave it a boost of plant nutrients and continued to patiently water each magnificent purple petal. To my utter delight one morning I went out to water them and the sunshine was cascading over each gorgeous vibrant purple petal. It had finally come back to life.
James 5:7 tells us:
“[B]e patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient.”
James is making a parallel with the Palestinian raining climate, in which autumn rains occur just after sowing and the spring rains just before harvest. Each rain was of the utmost importance for the growth of a hearty harvest. The same is true in our lives.
We can begin with great energy and passion and then in light of a the scorch of suffering feel shriveled to the point of no return.
However, I love the encouragement James unlocks in verse 8:
“Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
James reminds us to keep establishing, keep watering — because the early and late rains matter. The early water of the Lord — when we begin our faith life full of vigor and passion — carries equal value to the fertilizing water of the Lord — as we work through with patient endurance the suffering this life all too often reveals.
It’s in those moments of steadfast belief in the purpose of the Lord that the Light of His love is magnificently revealed through each petal of our lives.
— Diving Deeper —
Why does James use the illustration
of a farmer waiting for the fruit of his crops?
How are we to be like the farmer?
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