‘Once again it’s a matter of humility – one of James’ primary lessons, as we are realizing. Don’t imagine that our timescale corresponds to God’s timescale. Think of it like a farmer. Some weeks ago I watched a local farmer ploughing his field and sowing his crop. I can see the field as I write this: nothing seems to have changed (except for the fact that the seagulls that followed the plough are no longer there). The soil looks just as bare as it did when he went to work. So was he wasting his time? Has the crop failed? Of course not. It just takes time, more time than we might like. Farmers learn to live with the rhythm of the seasons. Our frantic modern society, which wants to have every vegetable in the shops all year round and so brings them in by plane from far away, has done its best to obliterate the need for patience. It’s all the more important that we who follow Jesus should learn it and practice it.’
Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John, and Judah. From the comments on James 5:7-12.