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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Doggone it! Did I forget to ask again?

If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.  Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything.  The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused. (James 1:5-8 VOICE)
I cannot tell you how many times I have started out on some journey in life with a whole lot of unanswered questions and feeling like I was barely making it on a wing and a prayer.  I think there are just times when we don't have all the wisdom we need for the steps we are about to take, but maybe we just launch forward in hopes we will somehow be able to muddle our way through things. As I go to the doctor's office, I don't know what they will tell me I need to do to treat my ailments, but I trust they have some idea based upon the years and years of training they have undergone!  Yet, even the multiplied years of training and experience can leave them clueless on occasion - simply because what they have tried hasn't worked to control a symptom or perhaps reduce someone's pain.  It doesn't mean they aren't good doctors - it just means they don't have all the answers in their own "set of wisdom".  One very good thing about walking with Jesus is the ability to stop, adjust our focus / attitude, and then get into a place where we can really begin to absorb the wisdom it is we will need for what is just ahead of us which we wouldn't recognize apart from his wisdom.
God will grant all that we need - maybe not in the timing we expect it, but definitely as it is needed!  I guess this is the toughest lesson to learn in life - to wait for God's timing, but to trust he knows what he is doing while we are in the process of waiting.  The one going through the ravages of disease and the tedious treatment of courses of chemo will tell you it is the waiting to hear the "verdict" as to the effect of the treatment that almost is more for them to bear than the actual effects of the treatment.  Waiting and not fully knowing what an outcome will be is the hardest thing to endure.  We hope in those times, but when the waiting is longer than we expected, or it takes a little more of us getting focused on listening to his voice, we can see our hope vanish because one or the other becomes "too much" for us.  As our writer says, when we ask, God gives "lavishly" - not out of greed, or with a lackluster kind of attitude. He doesn't just want us to live on morsels of his grace and wisdom, but feast on it until we are filled to overflowing.
Too many times we are set "adrift" by our own lackluster commitment to seek God's wisdom before we set out on the journey.  We utter some prayer of "Hey, God, bless this, okay?" and set out on our way without really taking time to ask God if this is the right path to choose, or how it is we are to prepare for what lies ahead.  When we find ourselves being carried by the current of emotions which can lead us in directions we may not have wanted to be going, we wonder how it is we find ourselves without an anchor!  We left the anchor at the dock! We never thought about it until we needed it!  Sometimes we treat God's wisdom this way - we don't think about asking for it until we realize we are in over our heads. It isn't too late, it is just that we have done a whole lot of drifting off-course while it took us time to realize we hadn't asked!  Just sayin!