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Patience



In James 5:7 we read, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.” From our agricultural perspective we would assume the early rains are the spring rains and the late rains are the fall rains. But for the Jews the year started in the autumn and the late rains are the spring rains. Nevertheless, the heart of the passage is not rain but patience and waiting. Spring cannot be rushed. Even if the winter is extended beyond its normal end, spring will come. New life will follow the cold death of winter. The air will take on a warmth and freshness that seems to only come with the spring season. But it will come in its time. Patience and waiting are needed.


Psalm 40:1 says, “With expectation I have waited for the Lord.” As the farmer cannot rush the early and the late rains, we cannot rush the Lord. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son.” Fr. Solanus Casey says, “Blessed be God in all His designs.” God’s designs are His plans and within each of His plans is embedded His timing. As much as I may want to rush God to accomplish what I think is His will for me, He will do what He wants to do and when He wants to do it. Thus, I must be patient and obey. And that is easier said than done.


We live in a “McDonald’s” world. By this I mean we want what we want, and we want it now. In teaching my personal finance class to college first-year students, I told my students that savings is defined as delayed gratification. But with a McDonald’s mentality, we want instant gratification. And that mentality and its associated actions can be carried over into our relationship with God. Often our prayer is “Lord, give me patience and do it now!” We are unwilling to wait upon the Lord, and we cannot truthfully pray Psalm 40:1 unless we add “not” to the verse making it read, “I have not waited patiently for the Lord.” Or we can take a pair of scissors to Psalm 40:1 and remove it from our bible. Then we would not feel like a hypocrite when we read that psalm or start praying.


When spring comes, the newness and freshness of the season have a way of calming our spirits. Seeing the newly budding flowers and trees lifts our spirits and brings a calm to our hearts. The smell of the spring rains reminds us of the new life beginning to take shape all around us. Patience, pausing to wait upon the Lord and His timing, can bring a welcome springtime to our walk with Him. Wait upon the Lord with expectation and experience the freshness of spring in your walk with Him.

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