By Dr. Michael Layne
---- — James 5:7-10 7 “My friends, be patient until the Lord returns. Think of farmers who wait patiently for the spring and summer rains to make their valuable crops grow. 8Be patient like those farmers and don’t give up. The Lord will soon be here! 9Don’t grumble about each other or you will be judged, and the judge is right outside the door.”
My friends, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They were patient, even when they had to suffer.
I remember as a child waiting on Christmas to arrive so, I could unwrap the packages that had been placed under the tree. I remember one year when I was really surprised when I woke up Christmas morning and found a couple of gifts that had not been placed under the tree.
The little red wagon. Yes, it was a very nice wagon and a total surprise to me. There were some other toys placed in the wagon and also some fruit and nuts. It just wasn’t Christmas around our house without the fruits and nuts, and I’m not talking about relatives.
From our passage today from the book of James we are told to be patient and the illustration is given of farmers who must endure the winter months and wait for spring and summer to plant their crops and do the other chores that are required of farming.
One year the rains come and nurture the crops yet another year come along and the crops suffer. The farmer must be patient regardless the outcome. If this is a bad year, we wait for the next growing season and pray for rain.
For those of us who confess our faith in Jesus Christ, we are, at times, laughed at and maybe even ridiculed for our practices and belief. Through the ridicule of those who don’t understand we must be patient and wait upon the Lord’s return.
During this season of Advent we not only look at those who waited upon the Lords first appearance as He was to be born in Bethlehem but, we now await His second coming.
Yes, waiting can be painfully difficult in many situations. For those of you who have given birth, you understand the patience of waiting. About nine months of waiting and you pray for a healthy baby and that the birth will be without complications.
During those nine months of waiting for the birth of the baby the mother needs to make sure she is getting the proper nutrition and rest and not endangering the unborn child with the consumption of alcohol or tobacco.
There have been many children born who are afflicted with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Effects. This is due to the ingestion of alcohol beverages during the pregnancy and the way to inhibit this form of mental retardation is through sobriety.
Patience? You don’t know what amount of patience it takes to raise a child who is affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal alcohol Effects. I do. We adopted a 22-month-old child several years ago from a woman who had consumed alcohol and drugs during the pregnancy and it affected the child. We really came to understand the word patience.
You might want to read a book titled The Broken Cord, by Michael Dorris. The author talks about his experience of adopting a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the patience it took to raise the child.
During this season of Advent, pray for those who must find extra strength to face their situations in life. Let us wait patiently on the Lord.
The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, can be reached at 812-614-2160 or, www.doclayne.com.