a pearl of wisdom

Wisdom. Does it come with age? Experience? Is gray hair a prerequisite?

You often hear people say, “Pray for wisdom” or “Lord, grant us wisdom.”

I think that’s a fancy way of saying, “God, I have no idea what to do. Help!” Or maybe that’s just me.

Either way, King Solomon speaks to wisdom in Proverbs.

In Proverbs 2…

My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.

Receive. Treasure. Make your ear attentive. Incline your heart. Call out. Raise your voice (That was one of Hilary Duff’s better movies, by the way). Seek. Search.

Evidently wisdom takes some effort. When faced with an unknown, the yellow brick road is not going to appear out of thin air. So what is promised if my heart calls out for wisdom?

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,
     and who are devious in their ways.

This is so great. For the Lord gives wisdom. I have to seek it, search for it and even incline my heart. But he gives it. He’s even storing it up for me according to verse seven. Wisdom will come into my heart and knowledge will be pleasant to my soul. If God gives me wisdom (v. 6), then why do I stress and worry and try to finagle things on my own? Solomon thought of that, too.

Proverbs 3:7

Be not wise in your own eyes;
     fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh[b]
    and refreshment[c] to your bones.

When God gives me wisdom, does it always look the same? No. Do I receive a Post-It note with a to-do list to tackle? No, and I do love a to-do list on a Post-It note. Does my pursuit of wisdom result in the answers I want? Not always. If seeking wisdom from God is not a sure-fire way to figure out all the unknown variables in life, then why ask for it? I think it grows my faith. It forces my dependence on Him. When I ask for wisdom, I really am saying, “Lord, help!” He gives it — even if it doesn’t look like what I had in mind. And that really is healing to my flesh and refreshment to my bones.

Editor’s Note: The random longhorn photo is just that, random. Maybe he is wise for standing in the shade? Ok, I’m stretching it here. I’ll stop.

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