Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. – James 5:8
“I can’t wait!” That’s a common cry this time of year. Children have been adding items to their Christmas lists for weeks. Waiting another week to see what they actually get seems unbearable. It’s just as hard to wait inside the confines of a classroom, struggling through tests and holding back excitement for the Christmas break. It’s equally difficult to wait when you are holding a ticket to visit your grandchildren over the Christmas holiday. It doesn’t matter how long you stare at the calendar, there are no shortcuts for waiting until Christmas gets closer. Waiting requires patience.
The Bible acknowledges patience isn’t a natural virtue inside any of us. It’s especially true when life isn’t going right. When you are afflicted with sickness or when you are being mistreated, waiting for relief is just about the hardest thing to do. It would be much more natural to grumble and complain when your health is poor. When you aren’t being treated fairly, it’s much easier to lash out and hurt someone back or criticize someone else to make them feel as lousy as you feel.
So the Bible tells you to be patient. Wait until Jesus comes. Holding out during those difficult times is like a farmer waiting for his crops to grow. It won’t do him any good to complain about how slowly they’re growing. It would be a waste of time for him to yell and scream and scold those plants until they grow faster. All the farmer can do is make sure he has done his job and then wait for the results to appear.
That’s how God wants you to handle your frustrations and challenges in life. Sometimes you can’t overcome that sickness or get rid of that mistreatment. Yet you can still place your trust in God during those difficult times. Then you can wait for God to do his job. You already know that God did his biggest job when he sent Jesus to this earth on that first Christmas. Jesus took on himself all of the abuse and mistreatment he never deserved. Jesus suffered for all the world’s spiritual sickness. Jesus took away the punishment for all of our complaining and grumbling and stinging criticisms of others. The results of Jesus’ work mean peace and forgiveness for believing hearts.
“I can’t wait!” can be your motto for the return of Jesus. You don’t have to count down the days on the calendar. You can wait with patience since you know Jesus brings more than just presents or a brief visit or a break from school. You can stand firm and eagerly wait for the blessings Jesus has in store for you when he comes back to take you home to heaven.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, visit my heart to give me your patience. Fill my life with your love and forgiveness so I can patiently endure earthly struggles while I wait for you to come back and bring me your eternal blessings. Amen.