Advent Reflection – 16

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘Yes’ be yes and your ‘No’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (James 5:7-12)

For me, patience is one of the hardest things for me to find. In our fast-paced world of text messages, high-speed transit, express check out lanes, streaming entertainment, and next-day deliveries, it almost seems foreign anymore to just be patient. We seem to be training our children to expect things to be fast and instant and that anything that requires waiting is inferior. There is a serious flaw in that logic. Some of the most beautiful moments in our lives demand patience…the birth of a child, a delicious home-cooked meal, and so many other beautiful moments where we most perfectly experience God’s presence in our lives. It is through prayer and meditation on God’s word that I find my ability to be patient constantly increased. Being attentive to God’s words in my heart, and aware of God’s presence in my life, requires immense amounts of patience. It is my prayer that, during this season of Advent, you also challenge yourself to slow down, be patient, and listen for those sudden moments in your life where God’s Spirit is present. Have endurance. Be patient. Wait for the Lord.

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