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James 5:7-12 

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Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. [8] You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. [9] Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. [10] As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. [11] Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. 

[12] But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.  NASB

For some of us, it would be easier to climb Yosemite's Half Dome, on one leg, with our hands tied behind our back then it is to do what James tells us to do in this passage of scripture-be patient. When I lived in Albuquerque, the men in my church would often tell me, "Slow down Pastor, don't be in such a hurry." Part of the reason was that New Mexico is the land of Manana, just about everything can wait there. But part of it was they'd spotted a restlessness in my soul-an impatience that constantly drives me to do more in less time. An impatience that reduces productivity over the long haul and retards a person's ultimate potential.

James tells his readers to be patient. Just as the farmer has to wait for her seed to germinate, sprout through the soil and become a plant that gives her produce, so must we be patient. 

Patience is a precious commodity. How valuable is patience?

For Joe Treala is was worth a million dollars. Treala, a resident of Gilroy, California won a million dollars when he answered the following question on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,""What insect shorted out an early supercomputer and inspired the term, "computer bug?" The answer "moth" was worth a million dollars to the 25-year-old computer customer service representative. 

Treala took his time answering this and other questions. It took him 15 minutes to answer one of the questions. "The producers were getting kinda cranky with me," he said. His patience was uncanny, even unnerving. But in the end, his patient ways paid off for him-a million different ways. 

Treala's patience wasn't just shown in the way he played the game, but in how he got there. Treala tried out for Jeopardy several times, but was never invited on the show. But he didn't give up, he kept trying to get on a game show and when he did, his patience finally paid off.

(Fresh Illustrations

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