James 5:7-10 (NRSV)
Verse 7Be 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. Verse 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Verse 9Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! Verse 10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
I have several friends who have been waiting for God to act in a mighty way for a long time. Some of them are confused about why it is taking God so long. As a pastor in their life, I too wish God would act more quickly to bring healing and wholeness. I don't always have a good answer for their questions.
Today's reading reminds us that patience is part of faith. Waiting for God to act is an essential part of our faith. Many of the saints who have gone before us waited in anticipation for God's action. Some never saw what they were waiting for, but they held to the belief that one day, God would fulfill God's promises. For those of us living after the death and resurrection of Jesus, we wait patiently for his return. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Jesus, we pray for you to return soon. We want to see you make the wrong things right in our world. Give us patience to wait for you, even when the waiting is hard. Help us devote ourselves to doing your will while we wait. Amen.