God Works Over Time (Be Patient!)

I have been thinking about patience and perseverance, with the fall crops being harvested and as verse from James 5 keeps coming to mind.

In my life, there are things I am praying and waiting for over time and the answers don’t seem to come quickly. Are you experiencing this in your life in some way, too?

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“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. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8 (full context, verses 7-11), ESV

Here’s a few notes I made in the margin of my Bible:

“Patience – a mindset of calmness and trust in God, can be coupled with perseverance.”

“Perseverance – an action of keeping-on doing what is right.”

“The farmer does not go out to pick his produce in July because he is impatient. He waits for the crop to be mature. We may not see what God is doing in our circumstances…wait and stay focused on Jesus!”

As I read these notes that I made sometime in the past, they speak into my life. What mindset will I choose today? How does this example of farming help me have perspective and give me a concept of how God works over time?

Another verse has been on my mind as well:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

I like to read this verse slowly, imagining each phrase. The rain comes down. Plants spring forth. A man scatters seed. And the irony of imaging rain upward! This just doesn’t happen in nature, just as it is in God’s nature to complete what He begins. Will you pause a moment to read this passage this way?

In both of these passages, God is at work over time. Which involves waiting. He sends rain, then seeds grow, more rains come, the crop matures, then there is fruit and eventually seeds. This requires long periods of time and waiting.

And in both of these passages, God accomplishes His purposes (James 5:11 and Isaiah 55:11). He has purposes for us knowing Him and growing Christ-likeness in us. And He has purposes for our circumstances and other people, possibly in ways we will never understand in this lifetime. We remember who God is and be encouraged to trust Him and have faith, though we don’t see the outcome yet.

Let’s choose faith that God is with us in our waiting and that He is at work over time. Out of that faith, let’s continuing to pray as we watch to see what He will do! And in the meantime, let’s keep on doing what we know to do, doing even the small things today with love for God and people.

What is God asking you to be patient for and persevere through today? What attitude and perspective will you choose?

 

Kathryn Featherstone is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and a board-certified Christian Life Coach, who helps people live and love well out of their strengths and their relationship with Christ. She’d like to encourage you in your journey! Write her a note or see her Coaching page.

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