Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : James 5:7-11

Inspired by our “green thumb” neighbor to expand our garden beyond petunias and geraniums, we planted a variety of bulbs in the Fall. Spring came. Our neighbor’s tulips were stately and colorful; ours, scrubby and blossom-less. I fretted, but slowly they grew until we too had a lovely tulip bed. Then there were the Dutch Iris. How impatient I became watching those slender onion-like stems. Surely nothing would ever come of them. But amazingly, one day, there were gorgeous purple and yellow blossoms. As if two lessons weren’t enough, there were the allium bulbs. Each day the thin blades grew taller, each topped by a ridiculously tiny olive-sized bud. Would they ever look like the picture on the box?

Only a garden, but how much we need patience in all of life, patience with situations and with people: an unpleasant job, a financial set-back, an elderly parent or spouse who needs constant attention, a young adult who has thrown out his parents’ values. Many of these are long-term situations and call for much patience.

Where does this patience come from? From our wonderful God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:4, niv).


Lord of compassion, give us patience in trying situations and compassion toward others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.