I appreciate James’ words in this passage about being patient. I think we all need the reminder to be patient from time to time. James uses the example of farmers, and I snicker. I once had a farmer tell me, “We farmers only work about six weeks a year. three weeks of planting, and three weeks of harvesting. The rest of the time we worry.”
Patience also means we should be calm and not worry, even when everything in our being wants to worry. Life often throws us into situations where we can become overwhelmed with our own weakness and worry can set in. Then we become reactionary toward situations. Instead of praying, waiting, and trusting God; we start to take matters into our own hands. My experience has taught me that when we take matters in our own hands we often fail and situations usually become worse.
James is reminding people who are facing true suffering and even death that patience and waiting on the Lord prove to be the best help during stressful times. We get stressed out today because the alarm doesn’t go off on time, are coffee spills on a new shirt, or someone hasn’t texted us back as fast as we’d like. In the greater picture of eternity these insignificant things will fade away. What matters most is how your faith in God, and love for others in the world has truly been lived out.
Take some time to day, and think about what is stressing you in your life. Have you really given it over to Jesus? Are you trying to bear burden’s alone in patient trust? God is waiting for you to lay it down, so he can fill you with his calm assurance.
Please help us to face our trials and hardships, our stresses in your loving hands instead of our weak power. Let us learn to trust you and be filled with your strength to face whatever you allow into our lives. Amen.