Today, James 5:8 popped up on my smart phone for my verse of the day. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
YOU TOO, BE PATIENT . . . well, lately I had not been. I had just sat for twenty minutes at the lab waiting for blood work to be drawn, getting hungrier and grouchier by the minute. If I had not been in a waiting room with twenty other people, I would have burst out laughing at God’s sense of humor. He often whacks me in my spiritual head that way.
On the way home, I thought about that verse again. I found I had not been patient in other ways as well – with myself, more than anything else. Usually an organized to the T, ducks in a row type of person, my week had been willy-nilly. I felt I was dashing around feeling busy yet not accomplishing what I had set out to do. Ever feel that way?
I saw the next phrase – stand firm. That means planting my feet to solid ground, not twirling in a whirlwind of activity, or pacing like a caged tiger. It means being solid and confident no matter what chaos swirls about me, like being in the eye of a tornado where all is calm.
I often refer to a program on my computer which has several translations for each Bible verse. Instead of saying “stand firm” others said –
Take courage. Well, it does take courage to dig your toes in and not move.
Establish your hearts. Like a foundation is established, if our hearts are in the right place, the rest of us will be as well.
Strengthen your hearts. To stand firm does require strength. Bolstering our hearts with Scripture’s truth will give us the courage to stand firm like two arms holding us up.
So what does patience have to do with strength? Everything. The weak person lets their environment control them. They let circumstances dictate their reactions. But, the person founded in faith knows God is in control no matter the environment and circumstances.
And why should we practice patience and courageous strength? Because Christ is drawing near. Not just at the end of the ages, but now. He is there, walking towards you in every situation saying, “Here I am, lean on me. I am your refuge and your strength.”
It is a lot easier to be patient and strong when you know help is within reach.