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Return of the King - Advent 2016

December 13, 2016 – Be Patient, Our Gardener is Coming

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”
– James 5:7-8

All My Plants Die

I don’t have a green thumb at all. In fact, I’d describe my thumb as more brownish or maybe black. I’ve never been able to get much of anything to grow. And yet, there’s something strangely attractive about tilling up earth, planting seeds, and watching little green shoots sprout up. I just wish I had the patience to wait for the fruit.

Instead, I spend the first few weeks looking forward to the harvest. But plants – like people – grow slowly. And they require work – weeding and fertilizing and watering. And I can be forgetful. So it’s not unusual for me to plant vegetables, care for them for a few weeks, and then slowly forget them. My patience doesn’t last.

I suppose I wasn’t cut out to be a farmer. And that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need to cultivate patience in my life. You see, we’re all growing something in the soil of our hearts. Though the plant that grows inside doesn’t just bear fruit that we can eat for a day or two. This plant bears our future – both temporal and eternal. And because of this, we can’t neglect it like we might forget about a houseplant or blueberry bush.

Be Patient, Our Gardener is Coming

Hopefully, we want to see growth in our lives. We should want to see God move in our lives and answer our prayers. We should want to feel like we’re being put to good use and bearing good, faithful fruit. And yet, there are times when it feels like we’re trying to push up through concrete. It may feel as though we’ll never make it – we’ll never survive – we’ll wither on the vine. But this is not so.

This is why James tells his hearers to “be patient” and “strengthen your hearts.” Yes, there may be times when it feels like the gardener has forgotten to water us. There may be moments when it seems like he’s putting fertilizer on everyone but you. There may even be times when you feel as though the weeds are threatening to choke the life right out of you. But be patient. Strengthen your heart. The gardener is near. And thankfully, he’s a gardener who has the greenest of the thumbs. He gives life to all he touches.

Let him touch you today.

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