Think fast, word association: Rain?
Let me take a gander at your first reaction. Rain: dull gray skies, cold wet feet, messy floors, mud, potholes, dreary people, painful seasons of life
Sunshine: beaches, smiles, suntans, newness, brilliance, light and hope
Patience: grit your teeth and bear it, a virtue, waiting and waiting and waiting, a tough place – your kids? your spouse? (-:
Four girl friends and I are wrapping up Beth Moore’s study on James called Mercy Triumphs. We recently came to a verse that I have scanned over in previous readings.
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.” (James 5:7)
What do you make of that? Does it mean we have to wade though the rainy season to hopefully reap the precious produce of the soil? We’ve been talking about the privilege of pain. Beth calls it the “Law of the Harvest.” Ancient farmers (and modern ones as well) anticipated the early and late rains. However stormy those seasons might be, the rains are vital for the growth of the precious produce of the soil.
In James 1, he reminds his readers of what they already know, the testing of their faith will produce endurance. Pounding rains strengthen thirsty, fledgling leaves. There may be hail and lightening. Perhaps flash flooding. Perhaps the farmers have to plow and tend their fields in the midst of mud. Would they ask to be relieved of the rains? In life sometimes, pounding circumstances strengthen young faith. Eventually flooding sorrows seep into the soil of our hearts and press the precious produce of our souls through the surface.
It’s the law of the harvest.
A few other writers have thoughts on this passage too: