If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
How easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking that we don’t really need to pray and ask God for wisdom! After all we are so-called responsible adults aren’t we? However, perhaps one of the signs of our maturity and growth as Christians might be our own acknowledgement of need when such arises. How often do we soldier on in our own strength and energy thinking that we’ll do it “my way?” Is it any wonder then that we find that things fail and we fall flat on our faces? If only we were to realise our own inability and vulnerability first and then follow this advice from James.
However, such a request does need to be asked for in faith and the belief that God will answer and provide what is needed. All too easy it is, such being human nature, to ask someone’s advice and then not take it. This may be because it is not favourable to us or perhaps even contrary to what we really want. It is only then that we discover for ourselves the Father heart of God and need to realise that His ways are always better than ours.
Certainly if we ask Him in full assurance of faith and without wavering, He will supply all we have need of. However, this may not necessarily always be agreeable to us.
We are blessed to live close by the sea, and see the tossing of the waves. How often does a piece of man-made debris bounce and sway in the wind-energised flow making it seem so flimsy and fragile?
How unstable and aimless we may become if we don’t earnestly ask God in our times of need for the help which He alone is able to give us.
Surely wisdom is taking all the help He so willingly wants to provide for us, and not chucking it back in His face because it does not quite fit in with our own agenda?
Let us therefore ask in assured faith. Not having any preconceived ideas of what we crave for, but in childlike trust, being grateful for the gift of wisdom which we are given. If we ask without any wobbliness, he will impart all that he deems is best for us.
All seeing Heavenly Father, how I need your Fatherly advice. Speak to me. All caring God, how I long for your strong shoulder to lean on. Draw close to me. All loving Saviour, how I yearn for your warm embrace. Enfold me. All knowing Lord, lead me into your wisdom for your word is truth. AMEN.
Verena Walder is an Elder and Lay Preacher at Tabernacle URC, Mumbles in South Wales.