The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/14/2008

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The Crockpot Of Patience


"Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains" (James 5:7&8).

"Lord give me patience, and DO IT NOW!!! Have you ever felt that way? Its almost funny to say and yet pathetic. So what is this patience that we all seem to be on the short side of. In as simple terms as possible, patience comes from knowing that despite what is going on around us, that God is where He ought to be and He is in control. Most of us recognize that impatience bears very poor fruit. It makes us irritable. It makes our stomachs churn, maybe even causing an ulcer. Generally speaking, it makes us not-too-pleasant to be around.

As I've heard more and more recently, lets "get real" for a moment---being patient is hard! Wouldn't patience be much easier if we learned it faster? Here's where the crockpot effect comes in. My wife Jane makes some of the best barbeque sandwiches I have ever eaten. The meat is cooked in the crockpot for hours until the barbeque sauce cooks into it and it is tender. It tastes just "OK," if you eat it too early, but wait until the right time and it is really special. If the old axiom is true, Rome was not built in a day.

In our rushed and hurried lives we must learn the lesson of the crockpot. This idea of building patience is very important to James. His writing in chapter five is all about developing patience. For them it is the patience and endurance they would need to face their difficulties. And extreme difficulties they were. Their situation was often life-threatening, yet James taught patience.

What do you suppose James would write to us today about patience. I believe the same. Let me reveal another aspect of patience. How patient are we with the "routine times" of life. You know, the boring, repetitive, grinding aspects of life that Solomon called "meaningless" or "vanity?" If we have a bad day at work, the kids are crabby, the dog got into the trash, and the car has a flat tire, we see the need for patience. But how about the routine. It requires patience too. What can be more boring than waiting for seeds to germinate into plants. But that what the farmer must do every time he plants...."waiting for the land to yield its valuable crop."

Finally, James reminds his audience about the patience of the prophets, a group of people who personified endurance, persistence, and suffering. James purpose to those back then and us today is this. Patience is a characteristic necessary for successful living. It is a virtue worth striving for. It will not come quickly, but if we work on it hard enough, like the crockpot, it will produce marvelous results.

Have a wonderful day....Make a difference...Love mark Phil. 4:11

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