Wednesday, 15 November 2017

I Lack No Wisdom. James 1:5 by Susan L.

  "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." NKJV
  "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." JCB

   I burst out laughing when I read today's affirmation. "I lack no wisdom." Maybe not but I can be awfully dumb at times. Hence the Band-Aid on a finger that had a disagreement with a kitchen knife. Oops!

  Wisdom is totally separate from age, intelligence or education.
  The honest forthrightness of a child's insight can be a precious thing indeed (and potentially embarrassing).
  Knowledge is good. But, without wisdom to guide the application of that knowledge, it is a dead thing with no purpose. Or worse, knowledge is turned to serve the dark forces in this world.
  Three men used their learning to follow a star. Did their wisdom show itself when these rich and powerful men humbly knelt before Jesus' cradle? Is that why they are called the "wise men"?

  Long ago, I fell in love with the many verses in Proverbs that speak of wisdom and her qualities. It's a wonderful exploration of what wisdom is. Whenever I read them, my heart leaps with desire for everything she represents.
  Its as though Solomon's writings were an introduction to the Holy Spirit...

  There was a long pause here. It felt like my head was going to explode with ideas that have poured out far faster than my fingers could ever type. Why is wisdom a woman? Is it the Spirit that makes us wise or is it by learning to listen and obey? How can a knowledge of scriptures be a dangerous thing? And a whole bunch of other stuff.

  Then this popped into my head and the brain train screeched to a halt:
  Knowledge, without the heart of God behind it, shaping its outpouring, tempering it with love, becomes a cudgel we use to beat each other to death.
   Forgive me Father, for feeling I have to prove how "smart" I am.
  Teach me to be wise.
  Wow. What started off rather nonsensically and light hearted has ended with a bang. Yet, my heart is lightened with this deeper understanding of wisdom.

  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
  Courage to change those things I can.
  And the wisdom to know the difference.
                    Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

I Am Known. 2 Timothy 2:19

  "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'" NKJV
  "But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription, 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and 'All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.'" JCB

  Belonging longing. There's no better way to describe the fundamental human need for connection.
  The devil knows this so he will do anything in his power to make sure we remain apart from God and each other.
  It was only by reaching out to my pastor and sharing what was going on with the anxiety did it lose its grip. And things were worse than I let on, not wanting to upset anyone.
  Because I shared my burden and held it up to the light, I've had almost a week with minimal tension. Praise God.
  It's like learning a foreign language, this asking for help.
  It's really hard to be vulnerable especially when vulnerability has been turned against me into a hurtful weapon.

  My old neighbours had a nick-name for me. "Saint Sue."
  Gee. I haven't thought about that for a long time. It still hurts. Lord, let me forgive them because they had no idea of the terrible world I was caught up in. They had no way of knowing why I was led to be a superwoman who tackled any and all responsibilities because it was, I believed and was encouraged to believe, my role as loving wife. Although, I have no idea how maintaining farm equipment ended up being part of that role.
  My youngest son and I went away for a week. Our first holiday in eight years. It took hiring three people to tend to what I looked after in a day even though my spouse was at home. For weeks after I paid the price for "abandoning" my responsibilities.
  The silent treatment is one of the cruelest things we do to another person.
  And, as Forest Gump says, "That's all I am going to say about that."

  Because, in the end, the Lord had marked me as His and was waiting for me to reach the end of my own self-sufficiency.
  I did an about-face that rocked my world.

  Lord, it doesn't take much to put me into isolation mode. Looking back I realize it's because of fear seasoned with a dose of shame that stops me from reaching out. Isolating is a learned behaviour that needs unlearning!
  I know, with practice, it will become easier.
  Lord, guide me to those who are trustworthy.  Encourage me to stop putting off reaching out in the first place! :)


Monday, 13 November 2017

I know Whom I believe. 2 Timothy 1:12 by Susan L.

  "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." NKJV
  "That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return." JCB

  This is my third start this morning. Following rabbit trails and typing shallow platitudes seems to be the only thing my brain is capable of today. Thank You, Lord, for delete buttons.

  Maybe it's because nothing I say can add one iota of anything to Paul's story. His declarations of absolute faith and trust in the Lord makes me want a deeper connection with Christ.

  In everything.