Wisdom

My child, listen to what I say and remember what I command you.
Listen carefully to wisdom;
set your mind on understanding.
Cry out for wisdom,
and beg for understanding.
Search for it like silver,
and hunt for it like hidden treasure.
Then you will understand respect for the Lord,
and you will find that you know God.
Only the Lord gives wisdom;
he gives knowledge and understanding…

Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom.
If it costs everything you have, get understanding.            Proverbs 2:1-6, 4:7 (NLT, my emphasis)

I was looking at baby pictures the other day. I flipped to one and there was one of my grandchildren just WAILING! Face all twisted up, mouth open wide and even though it was a picture, my ears were ringing with the sound! And I saw myself for over seven years now, crying out to God, asking Him for what I needed. It’s a specific thing that I have been asking and asking and crying for. And looking at this picture it occurred to me that like this infant I was asking for what I needed but I was asking to fill an immediate need, not asking with the bigger picture in mind. An infant cries because it is hungry or wet or tired. The childish mind just wants and doesn’t understand or process that he/she needs what will help them grow in a way that results in strength and good health. So for me, I was asking for the right need but not with the intent that God had in His plan. I received His wisdom.

Too often as a Christian I may think that as long as I pray and go to church that I have “got it”. My eternal life is sealed and I can coast right on out of this world into the next. And that is an option. But it isn’t the best option. When I open myself up to God’s wisdom and understanding, I am telling Jesus that I not only want to be a branch on His vine, I want Him to prune and tend me so that I produce abundant fruit! I want more.

The writer of Proverbs says I am to search for wisdom. I must sweat, putting forth some effort and not just sit back on my padded pew waiting to be spoon fed some sip of wisdom. I may not want to accept this truth but what has come into my life through effort, taking the time to read and soak or practice diligently to learn a new skill are things that are treasures to me that have stood the test of time in my life and have become part of the foundation of who I am.

James assures me that if I ask for wisdom, God will give it generously (James 1:2-5). So why am I not the wisest person around? I have the same problem as Solomon. God was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom and He gave it to Solomon generously. But Solomon began to turn to his own wisdom and reasoning and that is when life and kingdom fell apart.

This week there are many in the northeastern part of our country who are looking at the complete destruction of their homes and wondering what they are going to do and where is God in all of this. It is so hard to call out for wisdom and hear and understand God’s wisdom when we are in overwhelming circumstances. God’s wisdom can come to those in need through workers who are also bringing water and food. It can come to the volunteers who have left their own homes and traveled hundreds of miles to give aid. It can come in the darkest hour of night when everything else seems silent. God comes in a whisper like He did to Elijah (1 Kings 19: 9-13).

However we must “get wisdom,” let us believe and understand that wisdom is worth the effort and the most important thing. “LORD, give me Your wisdom.”

In Your Presence written by Lynn Deshazo and sung by Paul Wilbur

 

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