In today’s instant gratification culture, patiently waiting for something is becoming a foreign concept. When we can speak “Ok Google” or “Alexa” or “Hello Bixby” and have our technology give us answers to any question we can think up, it is hard to remember a day when answers took a dedicated effort, and time, and learned skills in order to research, comprehend, and identify truth. When we can use our Amazon Prime memberships to have everything from technology, to groceries, to clothes, to seeds and plants, to books and manuals, to videos and games, it is hard to remember a day when selections were limited and one had to “travel to town” to resupply.
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
James 5:7-8 NLT
Life Application Study Bible
The farmer must wait patiently for his crops to grow; he cannot hurry the process. But he does not take the summer off and hope that all goes well in the fields. There is much work to do to ensure a good harvest. In the same way, we must wait patiently for Christ’s return. We cannot make him come back any sooner. But while we wait, there is much work that we can do to advance God’s kingdom. Both the farmer and the Christian must live by faith, looking toward the future reward for their labors. Don’t live as if Christ will never come. Work faithfully to build his kingdom-the King will come when the time is right.
But the culture of the day is not meant to rule the hearts and minds of Christians. The way the world lives, the way those who do not know Him think, the way those who have no fear of God speak and act — is NOT our way, is NOT the narrow path, is NOT the life of a disciple of Christ with their hand firmly upon the plow. We are to be courageously bold in our faithful kingdom work and purpose — even as we are patiently awaiting His return.
Farming today has changed somewhat, as technology like irrigation, tractors, fertilizing, genetic modification, etc. has all worked to improve efficiency. But no farmer can say “Ok Google”, make my empty and unplanted field bear fruit for me to eat this morning. No, the farmer must still prepare his fields in due season, sow his seed in due season, tend to the weeds and bugs in due season, water and prune his plants in due season, and harvest in due season. So we can still “consider the farmers” as James urges his original audience — and we can appreciate this very different concept of patience that the Word of God calls us back to, even as the world entices us with its promises of instant gratification.
“In due season” stands out. What is due for me to be doing today, in this season? And what do I need to be patiently trusting will come in some future, due season?