By Yakuv Gurung
My four-year-old son often complains that waiting is boring. It is true that waiting is hard, boring, and irritating for most of us. However, as I travel, I have observed people who are waiting for planes or buses who also seem relaxed and engaged in reading, talking, or listening to music. And I’ve observed that their hearts are at peace and their faces are smiling. Yet they’re waiting, so why? They are certain that their planes or buses will arrive on time. They will soon be at home, work, or another desired place. This certainty makes them relaxed and peaceful, yet engaged in activities.
In a similar manner, James talks emphatically about waiting for the Lord’s coming. He is confident of the Lord’s return, but asks his audience to be patient just like a farmer waiting for the harvest. A farmer fights against all sorts of crop diseases or bugs, yet is totally dependent on God for rain and the harvest. Similarly, we wait for our Lord’s return. We fight, endure the hardships or difficulties that life brings, and yet trust in the Lord’s return and eternal reward.
Therefore, James reminds us to take courage, to wait, to be patient; Jesus is certainly coming. In this certainty, we find peace, serenity, and confidence. It is this confidence that makes us to do our daily chores while we wait eagerly like a farmer does for harvest.
May God grant us a heart to wait upon his return patiently yet confidently so that we can engage in our daily work.
Prayer: God, in the fullness of time you brought forth your Son, who will return someday, also in the fullness of time. Help us wait confidently and eagerly and to work heartily with joy.
Yakuv Gurung is pastor of Nepali-Speaking Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 2016 Advent devotions were written by RCA church planters and parent churches.