“The Waiting Game”

This Weeks Meditation:  “The Waiting Game”
Read: James 5:7-12

I have often heard the term “The waiting game” used but I think I gained a new perspective on it this week when I learned about the Chinese bamboo tree.

You see, the first year that the Chinese bamboo tree is planted nothing happens.  It must be watered and fertilized but nothing comes through the ground.  The second year is the same, the third year, the same, the fourth year, the same.
But during the course of the fifth year, in a period of only 6  weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree will grow around 90 feet high.  Yes, I had to read it twice as well.  Over four years of waiting and then the finished product comes to fruition in only six weeks.  90 Feet!  Wow!

That gives new meaning to “patience is a virtue.” In the book of James we are told to be patient as we wait on the Lord’s return. James refers to the concept of planting a crop and waiting through the sun and rain for the eventual harvest.  We see much of that planting going on right now in Central Illinois.  But we know that we won’t see combines in the field for months.
But with other things in life it seems that our patience often wears thin.  In our hurry up culture would we even have the patience to wait for five years for something to peak through the ground like the Chinese bamboo tree?

I’m sure we all can think of things that we have waited on for a long time.  Sometimes that waiting involves times of difficulty and hardship as James talks about in these verses.  But then in verse 11 James says, “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

As you play the waiting game, for whatever it is you have been waiting for, I hope that you will place your hope and trust in this Lord who is full of mercy and compassion.  God will help us persevere if we call on his name.
Someday he will return, and someday he will see to it that your patience is found to be a virtue.  Keep praying about it and keep trusting that Christ knows your situation.  You never know, after all the waiting it may just sprout up in a 6 week time frame.

Make it personal:  Name one thing you have been waiting on. Now, contemplate how your patience has been while waiting on that.  Then take some time to lift that thing in prayer to God.  As James reminds us (v.10), there are many great stories and examples in the Bible of patience and perseverance, and in those stories we can find hope to wait out our bamboo tree.

Have a blessed week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church