Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Late Rains

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

 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 the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8

The Late Rains

I have been doing the women’s ministry Rooted Bible study this semester at church. This past week we were studying James 5:7-12. James is speaking to a group of Christians that are in a season of suffering due to persecution. He is telling them to be patient and endure because the Lord is coming. He uses the example of the farmer waiting for his crops to mature so he can harvest the fruit. James points out that the farmer has to patiently wait for the late rains before he sees any fruit. 

In Israel, the rainy season starts in October (early rains) and usually continues through mid-May (late rains). The early rains, which makes the ground soft and ready to plant. But it is the late rains that produces the fruit. The late rains are the hardest to wait for, but they are the ones that really matter. The late rains are when the fruit comes, and the crops mature. 

We have seasons of waiting in our lives when we have to persevere and wait for the “late rains” to come.  David Guzik says of the farmer in verse 7: 

When we think about it, the waiting and need for endurance we have in the Christian life is very much like the waiting of the farmer.

·       He waits with a reasonable hope and expectation of reward.

·       He waits a long time.

·       He waits working all the while.

·       He waits depending on things out of his own power; with his eye on the heavens.

·       He waits despite changing circumstances and many uncertainties.

·       He waits encouraged by the value of the harvest.

·       He waits encouraged by the work and harvest of others.

·       He waits because he really has no other option.

·       He waits because it does no good to give up.

·       He waits aware of how the seasons work.

·       He waits because as time goes on, it becomes more important and not less to do so.

For us, it is the “late rains,” after a (sometimes very long) season of waiting or trials, that produces the fruit and maturity in our lives. It is in the waiting that we mature and grow. This maturity and growth will produce fruit. 

How do you wait? Do you wait like the farmer, patiently, working, with expectation, and encouraged? Or do you complain the whole time, completely missing the journey? It is easy to feel like God has abandoned or forgotten us when we are waiting for the late rains. But He never leaves us. He sees and He knows. 

During the waiting, establish your hearts. Read the Bible, pray, meditate and worship Him. Get ready so that whatever comes your way you are firmly rooted in Him so that nothing can shake you.  Be patient. Establish your heart. Get ready. The late rains are coming, bringing the mature crops and fruit. 

They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Jeremiah 5:24

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