Finding Wisdom (Jas. 1:5-6)

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.  But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all.” Jas. 1:5-6 (GNT)

The ambulance sped along the cobblestone streets, its sirens blaring. I was bouncing in the small jump-seat while trying to keep myself in my seat as the ambulance turned the corner. I looked at the radio in my hand and then back at the woman on the gurney. Her face was flushed and sweaty. Her breathing was labored. She sat up in the gurney with the light sheet covering her large midsection. She was full-term and in active labor. Her water had broken, and contractions were about a minute apart.

She looked to me, a mere 19 years old, for assurance. I smiled and looked at my watch. We were only 7 minutes from the Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. I was concerned and even more than slightly anxious about the reality of not arriving timely. Then the contractions resumed. I confirmed my suspicion, she was crowning, and I knew we would not make the hospital. At least not before delivering the baby. Reaching for the internal intercom, I told the driver to pull over and call the hospital on the radio. I looked back at her and smiled reassuringly. Her husband leaned in as I prepared for the delivery and asked about my experience. I looked at him with a smile and assured him all would be fine. What I did not tell him was this was my first delivery.

There are times or events where you realize you are not prepared. You feel you could use more insight or additional wisdom on how to act or deal with the crisis, decision, event, or issue. Do you ever think God should pick someone more qualified for the immediate job at hand? Pick someone more skilled in your estimation. There were times, in my life, as I am sure there have been times in yours, you believed God and stepped out, somewhat half-heartedly. Why? Because we understood the risk of what we felt God asked us to do and concluded this could end in an epic fail.

Not that God would fail, but we would. We would embarrass ourselves believing God called, but in reality, it was our own decision, or discredit God because of our inability or just messed it up. But that perspective is based on an inward focus. We are not looking to Him but ourselves. We do not focus on God’s strength but our human frailty or limitations. Instead of trusting in God’s wisdom and his Word, we listen to the enemy and hesitate. Maybe it is a real obstacle or limitation. Ask Him for wisdom, and he gives generously.[1] If we want to walk on water, we need only fix our eyes on Jesus, and he will bid us come.[2]

God has formed us and gifted us with natural abilities,[3] and the Holy Spirit has gifted us specifically for participating in the body of Christ.[4] God does not choose his vessel for His purpose based upon the world’s criteria.[5] He has called you to the task, maybe from off the bench. Trust God. Do not doubt. His Word promises He will give wisdom generously to all who ask without finding fault. He called you to a task and will provide you with the needed resources. The key? God. It’s not about us. It’s always about Him and his redemptive purpose.[6]

Just like the 19-year old faced with delivering a baby, you have to participate regardless of what you believe about your ability or circumstances. Seek wisdom and understanding. Watch Him work. He’s got this. Trust Him.  

[1] James 1:5

[2] Matthew 14:29

[3] Psalm 139:13

[4] 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4:7

[5] 1 Corinthians 1:27, 4:10; 2 Corinthians 12:10

[6] Galatians 3:13, 4:5; Romans 8:29

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