The Word

James 5:7-8

7 So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains. 8 So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near.

Deuteronomy 11: 14

14 I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.

The Message

When I came across this scripture in James, I could not make up my mind what to focus on- patience, the early rains or the late rains. It was difficult to decide, so I decided to look a little more at the early and late rains.

I have heard about patience severally growing up in the Lord. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is the ability to wait for God to show up concerning issues we present to Him. But when James refers to the patience farmers exercise for the early and late rains, I realized that the weather element called rain has become a preacher-something we should pay attention to.

In Israel, rains fall sometime from late October to early November. They called this rain the early or former rains depending on what version of the Bible you read. Then there is no rain till sometime in late March and April. This is the late or latter rains. There are the occasional
showers in winter but not expected by the farmers.

Apparently the former or early rains usually mark the beginning of the Hebrew calendar. They were necessary after hot summers to moisten and prepare the grounds for receiving seed so that they would take root, grow and spring up. Usually, crops like barley, corn and wheat were planted at this time. Meanwhile, crops like grapes, olives and other fruit and vegetables are harvested at this same time.

The late rains on the other hand would soften the grounds in preparation for the harvest of the grains which were planted during the early rains. It was a perfect cycle. If the early rains did not fall, there would be no vegetation and if the late rains did not fall there would be no grains. They both fell in due season, because the hand of God made sure the rains fell at exactly the right time.

No wonder James referred to farmers waiting patiently for the rains. They waited in hope and faith knowing that as long as they were in good standing with the Lord, the rains would come when due. The kind of patience James was talking about was confident that the wait is not in vain. The rains would definitely come and thereafter the harvest.

I look at my life and see this same Hand at work. A debtor pays a debt the night before I was to call the bursar in my children’s school to ask
for a little more time. Or the money for rent comes in just before the landlord sends his invoice. Or I was dreading my children asking me what was for lunch, because breakfast emptied my pantry completely, when a friend walks in with money for groceries. I see it all the time in my everyday life.

So whatever it is you’re expecting from the Lord, Child of God, bought by the blood of the Lamb, be patient, wait like the farmers of old waited- with the knowledge and understanding that the early and late rains never fail. These days, farmers are not as confident that the rains will come because they are not in covenant with God. We are, so we should be able to wait for His due season being confident that it will come. He is that committed to you. Simply wait. He will never fail you. Your patience will yield for you. Ck