by Dr. Potter’s wonderful wife, Jennifer
James 5:7-13 (ESV)
“Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate, and merciful.” (ESV)
We all know that suffering, in its various forms, must be endured in this life. You don’t have to live too long to get this on some level. In dealing with the ongoing suffering of this life, I have come to realize one thing. When suffering seems most unbearable or when the ongoing nature of suffering most wearies my soul, pondering the coming of the Lord helps put things back in perspective. A perspective that brings peace even in the midst of loss.
As I learn to establish my heart and patiently wait even as Job and the prophets of old, my suffering is put in its proper place. Real? Yes. Painful? Yes. Tiring? Yes. But, in the end, the losses, like the years stolen by chronic illness, don’t define my life. My life can be defined by a patient waiting. A waiting for the compassionate purposes of the Lord to be fulfilled. A waiting for the blessed coming of my Lord. Then, in light of the imminent coming of my Lord, the lemons of life, though real, take on their proper importance, and I gain a bit of blessed perspective- eternal perspective.