One day, my elderly neighbor gave me a Christmas cactus. She told me it had the most beautiful blooms and often asked me if mine had bloomed yet. Unfortunately, it had not. For about a year, she kept asking, and it never did bloom. I could have just thrown it out, but it looked green enough, so I kept caring for it. After a year of not blooming, I put it outside for the summer…where it proceeded to not bloom some more, but served as a great weight to help straighten and hold up my tomato cages! It really didn’t seem to be useful for anything else!
Then finally, the other day, after nearly two years…I noticed a bloom! My neighbor was right! It was beautiful! Not only that, but the plant had nearly five or more buds started getting ready to bloom too! Someone told me they couldn’t believe I had a Christmas cactus in full bloom in February. I had to remind them that I waited nearly two years for that to bloom!
James 5:7-8 NASB
“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. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”
In our Christian life, we will have seasons of growth and seasons of blooming. It’s easy to look on those who seem to be blooming as if they have it all. Yet we have no idea how long it may have taken them to get to that point. James tells us today what to do during seasons of waiting on the Lord. Using the farmer as an example, James reminds us of the precious produce that comes from patiently waiting on the Lord. Just as farmers go through seasons of planting, watering, waiting, and harvesting their crops, so we too go through seasons in our walks with the Lord.
So what do we do in the waiting? James 5 further explains that we must “strengthen our hearts” by believing that our God is faithful and that His timing is perfect (James 5:8). He’s working in us during all seasons—even when we cannot see or feel it. I sure wondered if that Christmas cactus would ever bloom! But it did! Just as God faithfully brought that cactus blooms, He will faithfully bring to fruition what He’s working on in your life. If you feel you’re in a season of waiting today, pray for patience and for the Lord to show you how you can strengthen your heart in the midst of the waiting.
This is an excerpt from my upcoming daily devotional: Applying God’s Word in Our Daily Lives.