Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near… As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed, we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” James 5:7-8;10-11 (NRSV)
James speaks to the patience I need on late winter days. Here, spring seems to take a long time coming. Long after winter holidays and bright, fresh snowfalls, both sky and the land appear to be a dingy grey. It seems like days pass without sun. It is on these days that my eyes ache for a break in the clouds and renewing green sprouts. James also speaks of endurance. As a marathon runner, I appreciate this encouragement, too. Perhaps looking to others who have crossed the finish line is evidence that I can do that as well.
So, whether due to illness, unemployment, or the fight for racial justice, we need patience and endurance as we wait for God’s in-breaking, healing presence. Though waiting is often difficult, we “have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” The Lord will come.
Prayer: Faithful God, remind us that you are alongside us as we await your coming. Amen.
Deacon Student Matthew Petersen, Cincinnati, OH