Advent Devotional: December 13
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. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
– James 5: 7-10
Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace. Both put together make a very pretty face.
Every time I hear the word patience, this poem from an old childhood book unfortunately pops into my head. In my interpretation, to be pretty would be a challenge in that I had three younger brothers and patience was in short supply.
Children’s lives are all about waiting… waiting for mom or dad to get off the phone, waiting for a turn, waiting for Christmas morning, waiting for school to be out, waiting for brothers to stop being obnoxious. For children, it seems the waiting never ends and patience is an unattainable goal. Even as adults it can be a challenge to be patient in this fast paced, “me first” world. I confess that when I’m in a traffic jam, or in line behind someone taking an incredibly long time digging for their wallet, being patient doesn’t come naturally; I have to be very intentional and very careful with my thoughts and reactions.
James is calling us to be patient “until the coming of the Lord.” We’re to wait for the Lord as the “farmer waits for the precious crop.” What a precious thing to be reunited with our Lord either on earth or in heaven… wait, be patient, beloved.
The scripture has more for us to consider. We can’t just wait and be patient; we’re to use our time of patience to strengthen our hearts. As we wait in traffic without leaning on the horn, show patience without huffing and puffing in line, learn to get along with our neighbors (or brothers), we are strengthening our hearts. With full hearts we can love each other, serve each other, and speak in the name of the Lord while we wait.
Maybe reflecting Christ’s love in this way does make a pretty face.
Kathy McCarron, Director of Children & Family Ministries