“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
The most frequent phrase spoken around our home lately is, “I can’t wait until…”. Yes, it is a sure sign that the springtime itch has begun and summer is approaching. We have already started some seeds in the growing room in the basement, our chicks are ordered and will arrive in June, the cow is due May 8th and our ewe will have lambs soon after. But the greatest “I can’t wait until…” for my kids is the arrival of kittens, and our momma cat is getting larger by the day. So, the anticipation mounts as we all await the perfect timing for each of our “I can’t wait…”s of spring.
In studying the atmosphere around our home, I know it was wise to plan a character study on patience as our final homeschooling unit for the year. We have so many things we do around the farm which require us to wait until the right time of the year for them to come to fruition. Over time we have come to accept this springtime stirring around the cycles of new life as just another part of the seasonal cycles. Patience is a necessary tool for success, for adults and children alike, and I feel very fortunately I have so many natural ways to teach patience to my children. Unfortunately, the character trait of patience is often not taught, not considered necessary, and even not valued in the high-paced society we live in today.
About a month ago I was on a field trip with two of my children and one of the group crafts we did required the use of scissors. Unfortunately the organizers of the event didn’t plan accordingly for the number of scissors that would be needed, so the kids were required to wait their turns. I decided to make the best of the time and start up a conversation with the woman next to me and my daughter and this woman’s daughter started chatting also. Then, from the next table over swooped a mother who scooped up two pairs of scissors and justifyingly said, “My children have never had to wait for anything!” Then she left in a huff just as quickly as she had arrived, only to be told at the end of the project that her children needed to stay seated and wait for the rest of the children to finish making their projects. I had to feel sorry for that mother and her children. Not only was the mother expending energies which were not necessary, but she was also failing to allow her children to learn one of the most important lessons of life. I could only imagine the frustrations her children will have to deal with in the future if they do not learn the importance patience plays in life.
We get an even bigger picture of the importance of patience when we look to the verse above from James. Our waiting is not only for things on this earth to happen, but ultimately our patience learned through the little things in life is meant to train us to be patient for the greatest thing in life – the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today if you are required to wait at a traffic light, for your son to put on his shoes, for a woman ahead of you in the checkout lane to finish her shopping, or for the results of a medical test to come back, may you find hope in the thought that all of these things are increasing your patience as you wait for Jesus to return.