7 Be 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. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.James 5:7-8 ESV
Peace blooms out of patience, which demonstrates itself in obedient faithfulness.
It is both logical and biblical that God’s blessings (like unearthly peace) would follow a life that follows after Him. Not every blessing for every follower, but always some tangible way we know that He walks this journey with us. We might even snicker a bit when we read that King Zedekiah ignored the words and promises of God, did as he pleased, and then sends the following message to Jeremiah:
“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”Jeremiah 21:2 ESV
The scathing rebuke in the verses that follow confirms the folly of his thinking. Yes, our salvation rests on God’s goodness and not ours. Yes, God is mighty to save, physically and spiritually. Yes, the battle belongs to Him.
However, if our hearts have wandered far from Him, we should not expect to find peace around us or in our hearts. That beautiful peace that passes understanding is a natural byproduct of a surrendered heart. It is not the outcome of a prayer whined out every five to ten years when the battering ram of life comes to call.
I need to remember to be patient at times though. Years of studying God’s word, growing in His Spirit, learning at His feet, I long for the finished product. In myself, and at times in those around me. I need to learn from the farmer. We would think it quite foolish if a farmer gave up on his corn crop at the end of June.
Choosing the seed, studying the soil, spacing the rows just so, watching the weather, planting, watering, fertilizing, and on and on. Week after week. Then, before it is even knee high, he mows it all down because there is not even a single ear of corn to be had. If only he waited! The harvest is coming. We must first sit through the early and late rains. Establish our hearts.
Patient in the waiting just like Job, just like the prophets. God is faithful. We can rest in that.
Lord God, thank you for your patience with me as I continue to grow and chaff against the slowness of the process of growth. Hold my heart securely and keep reminding me to not look for fruit before it is time. Help me trust your timing. In Jesus name, amen.