Most of us will sit down with family and friends this week to enjoy a table full of food. Our tables represent a great deal of work done by a farmer somewhere. He prepared the soil, planted seed, and monitored the threats. Some plants had to be given special care while others seemed to grow strong without much attention. He waited for the rain, praying for God to do what only God could do. When those rains came, the farmer watched with gratitude as the field soaked in the rain. The farmer couldn’t rush it, he could only work in anticipation of the crops sprouting and maturing. As the crops matured and began to produce fruit, he continued to care for the crops. In preparation for the actual day of harvest, more work was needed as he readied his tractors, workers, and trucks. His patience paid off as he cut the first stalks of his crop.
James called for his readers to approach life like the farmer. He pointed to the anticipation of the promised return of Jesus as a motivator for enduring trials and taking action as they patiently waited. The waiting gave them time to reclaim those who had strayed or faltered as a result of difficulties faced. They were to also pray for and encourage each other. They were to hold each other accountable for living a God-honoring life, knowing that one day soon they would stand before the Father. They could not rush it so patience was required as they lived in anticipation of the return of their Savior.
Generations have come and gone patiently living in light of the promised return of the Savior. Just like the farmer patiently waits, we must do the same. We cannot rush the return of Christ; we can only work in anticipation of His return. We can pray, encourage, and strengthen each other as we look for that day. The promised return of Christ should motivate us to face life head on, knowing that in due time we too will see the great harvest.