I know four kinds of people. Those who jump off cliffs, those who think about it for a few seconds and then walk off the cliff, those who need coaxing and those who need pushed. My children in some way, embody all of the above. There is a brown head who is hesistant, resistant. I know another head of brown who rarely even asks permission. I just see her thinking it over, then – she just does! Then there’s blondy. He needs a little encouragement, uncertain of the outcome, but will eventually if he really wants it bad enough. Finally, I know a tight curl who, well, he’s my cliff jumper.
And then there’s me. A few decades on the earth will teach you some things, like don’t run with a sharp objects, don’t step on wet rocks edging sharp drop offs (lived to tell this tale!), wear a hat on your head – it does keep in the heat, and eat a good breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day.
Then there are the things we don’t know because we have not lived them yet. We turn to our earthly parents for advice. They offer it, we listen, sometimes we do.
The risks, the cautions, the lessons learned, and the advice are all part of our growing up, our learning, our knowledge.
And then there’s the stuff that matters most of all. Things we know we can’t possibly predict, change, alter or forecast. The events that could change a life drastically or be the smallest step in a series. We ask God. Sometimes we listen, and sometimes we do. And sometimes we get to sit back and witness the unfolding of something beautiful.
“If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him and he will gladly tell you,” says James 1:5.
Seems easy – just ask for wisdom. But there is something more we need to know. The pages of an old study spoke long before James:
“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6
The fear of the LORD is our humility. But we get in the way, or rather our pride does. We go it alone, try to figure it out or worse, we run. When we place all worship and praise on him only, when we admit we have no idea what we are doing, when our true desire is to follow, follow, follow so closely our footprints align, he is our wisdom. He gives us his wisdom. And he does it gladly. He just wants us to ask.
The asking can be difficult, but it must be geniune. When we ask, we must do it with supreme confidence that God will answer (by the way, a great rule to follow in all prayer). James goes on to say if we doubt God will give it, we shouldn’t expect to get anything from Him. This is something else a few decades will teach you – if God says He will, then He will. I rest in this promise, proven time and again.
We ask for wisdom over circumstance, raising children, and all sorts of relationships. We ask for wisdom to know when it’s time to push through or sit a while, and in times when all we want is to be obedient.
And in those moments when we realize our own problems are sometimes very small, we think to ask God for wisdom to understand who He is, to really lean into Him, His name, His character, His love, and that’s where it is. That’s the wisdom we long to know. It is what sustains, trains, shares and loves. The very knowing that he has so much to tell me, so much to teach me, so much to share with me, so much to love over me, is enough to ask with confident humiilty and wait for his gladness in the asking, to pour over his glorious wisdom.