So wait patiently, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious harvest from the land, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains. You too, be patient; strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near.
Sometimes it is better to start at the end. Anyone who has pursued an education that requires years of study followed by additional exams, licenses and perpetual certifications can understand this. Throughout the process that could last for and years, there are periods of waiting. There is one great thing to be accomplished, but in order to do so one must accomplish several small things along the way. There are shorter periods of waiting through semesters of work and studying for exams and receiving scores. There are periods of waiting to hear back about internships and eventual jobs. Then studying for licensing exams begins and there is more working and waiting. The thing is, the greater waiting game from the beginning of education to the clearance and authority to actually practice your discipline is what carries you through the smaller seasons of waiting. They build to a larger goal.
As we walk out our salvation in anticipation for the return of Jesus Christ, we are in a long season of waiting. The end game is the return of Christ and restoration of all things to perfection. In the meantime, there are many tasks for us to accomplish. This will require shorter instances of waiting and receiving. The cycle can get maddening, and sometimes we can feel as if all we ever do is wait on God. In the end, we actually are waiting on God for everything. And when we feel like we cannot take one more second of waiting for a small thing, we must remember that all of that is more than worth it for the big thing on which we wait. Everything we accomplish for God here until Jesus comes back is for a purpose, and the Father will not have his Son return until those purposes are accomplished. The whole picture is not completed until all of the strokes have been placed on the canvas. Waiting through each and every stroke is more than worth the beauty of the final painting.
Some of us are not very patient. Even waiting at a green light for our turn to make a left can put us in an instant bad mood. Maybe the internet is slow today or your coffee is taking longer than usual to brew. For whatever reason, having to relinquish control over our time to someone or something else tends to just drive us crazy. But we cannot have everything right now. We certainly would not rush the coming of our Lord before his time. As we wait for God to answer our prayers about provision or healing or salvation for others we love, we must place that in the context of waiting for Jesus to return for the harvest. We must be willing to wait for every piece of the puzzle to be placed. We would not want the Lord to come before the harvest is ripe. Father, give us the patience required to wait not only for the great second coming of your Son but also for all the smaller things along the way.