*Waiting is an inescapable fact of life.
Somebody estimates most of us spend from 45-62 minutes waiting on /something /every single day.
That includes waiting for the light to turn green, waiting at the drive-thru, waiting for the next available operator, waiting for the nurse to say /the doctor will see you now, /waiting for your computer to boot up, waiting for the cashier, waiting for the mechanic to fix your car, waiting on the barber~/beautician to finish your hair, waiting for the kids to finish practice.
That’s a lot of waiting.
What do you during all this time you wait?
You read the magazines, or if they have one, watch TV.
You check out all the little temptations lining the checkout counter.
You could dare to take a look at the car beside at the light.
You can sing, or pray, or talk on the phone.
Most of us try to find something to do.
What about those times when you’re waiting for something more important?
Barry Beck, a 34-year-old geology professor led a group from Georgia Southwestern College on an expedition to Anderson Springs Cave in the Appalachians of northern Georgia.
By 4:30 on Saturday afternoon they had been in the cave 5 hours, following an underground stream.
Suddenly, the stream began to rise.
Where water had been dripping from the walls, it suddenly came gushing out like fire hoses.
The hardest rain to hit the mountain in 50 years created tons of water pressure into the cave.
The climbers made their way back upstream to a large cavern and climbed to a ledge about 40 feet above the rising water.
There was nothing they could do but wait in the pit and listen to the roar of the rushing water, until a scuba diver made his way up the roaring underground river nearly 30 after their ordeal began.
They had to wait; they had no other choice.
Waiting can make you desperate.
When you are waiting on God to answer your prayer, when you’re waiting to find out what happen w to your loved one or your job, when you’re waiting on the results of an election or an X-ray, waiting can translate into worry.
Waiting on a traffic light can be a little annoying; waiting on a life-or-death situation can be almost unbearable.
What can you do while you wait?
*James 5:7-12* gives us some suggestions.
Whether you’re waiting on God to move, or waiting to see what happens next, these 3 things will make waiting profitable for your soul.
Let’s begin in *vs.
* *The word /therefore /is very important in *vs.
It refers back to the previous verses where James writes of the injustice perpetrated against poor servants by their rich masters.
James says God hears the cries of the oppressed, and eventually He will bring justice to this world.
But for now they must wait.
It is to people waiting on God that James speaks.
What can you do while you’re waiting?
James suggests 3 things:
*1. **You can practice patience.
You’d think as much time as we spend waiting, we’d eventually get good at it.
But we’re not usually, are we?
Patience is a virtue, possesses it if you can.
\\ Found seldom in a woman, but never in a man.
There is a word to describe a person who is good at waiting: /patient.
/One very important thing you can do as you wait is to practice being patient, both with God and with each other.
James writes in *vs.
7-8*, we can /practice being patient with the Lord/.
He specifically refers to the second coming of Christ, and uses the image of a farmer who waits patiently waits for rain and the harvest.
Patience is a must for a farmer, because even though it takes a lot of hard work to produce a crop, you have to wait on it to grow.
A farmer works in faith, believing all his hard work will pay off in the end.
James says in *vs.
8* /You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord ////is at hand.
/Establish your hearts//= strengthen your hearts.
/Don’t worry or fret; practice staying calm, because you know the Lord will eventually show up.
As surely as the farmer knows the harvest is coming, you know Christ is coming.
In fact, He can show up at any time.
Our job is to do what we can and patiently wait for the Lord.
But James also encourages us in *vs.
9* to /be patient with each other.
/He writes /don’t grumble (groan) against each other, because Christ, the Judge, is at the door!/
James isn’t saying we should never confront a brother~/sister over sin.
What he is addressing is the petty griping and complaining about each other’s faults and failings.
You and I are called not to criticize and find fault, but to love each other.
*Jn 13:34* /A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another./
*1 Pe 4:8* /And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins./
/ /James says /remember we are all works in progress.
None of us will be finished until we see Christ.
While you are waiting for perfection, practice being patient with one another!
/ /Patience takes practice.
The farmer is patient because he’s had practice cultivating soil, planting seeds, weeding, and waiting on the rain and the harvest.
So also you and I can practice being patient as we wait.
We’re all waiting for Christ to come back.
But we are also waiting for the Lord to show up in many other ways, aren’t we?
When you pray, you’re waiting on the Lord to show up and answer your prayer.
Whether you’re praying for a sick person to get well, or a job to come through, or a lost loved one to get saved, you have to wait.
It’s a good time to practice patience with the Lord.
One thing I can guarantee: He never gets in a hurry.
We are all waiting for the day when we all become what Jesus saved us to be.
But that day is not yet.
We have to wait: I have to wait on you, you have to wait on me.
There is not much I can do to speed up the process for you, not much you can do to speed up the process for me.
/You have to be patient with yourself.
/Growth doesn’t happen in a hurry.
It takes time, and you have to wait.
What do you do while you wait?
Practice being patient with one another, instead of griping and complaining because none of us have arrived.
Practicing patience, both with the Lord and with each other, is one thing you can and should do while you wait.
Another thing James recommends is
**You can practice perseverance.
Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer once created a strip depicting a man walking down a road.
Coming to an intersection, the man encounters a wise man sitting at the junction.
The traveler asks the wise man, "Which way is success?"
The guru speaks not a word but motions to his left.
The man rushes off in this direction and suddenly in the distance there is a loud "SPLAT."
Eventually the man reappears.
He is stunned and staggering.
Thinking he misunderstood, he repeats his question to the guru.
Again the guru says nothing but points to his left.
Once again the man dutifully heeds the wise man's instructions.
Once again after he disappears from sight, an ear-splitting "SPLAT" is heard.