English Standard Version (ESV)
Now, I'm not terribly familiar with farming, but it must require great patience. There are seeds sown in spring, cast into the furrowed ground with trust that some transformation will occur that will bring them up from their tombs. When shoots of green first appear, they bring with them hope of a harvest, but that is a long way off and there is much to weather between the first signs of life and the bountiful harvest. There are thunderstorms and pests to brave, droughts and windstorms, each of which threatens a different peril to the crops. And then there is waiting -- weeks and months of waiting for the the promised crop to deliver, checking to see if everything is ready. There is much waiting, and only an expert can tell when things are truly ready.
Here, God is reminding us that there is a process to the promised deliverance. It doesn't occur in a day, and only God truly understands the process. There is much that threatens the life of the church, from external oppression to internal dissension, and each point of conflict threatens something else. Through it all, we trust in the God who brings life where there once was death, who sows hope and nourishes until it is time for the harvest.