Friday, January 06, 2006

Wisdom is the Way

A few days ago I promised to explain a revelation I had about wisdom. However, first I need to take you back to the Proverbs quote that had been giving me trouble last year:

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

Over the past few nights, I have been having dreams that took me back to the time I was suffering emotionally and struggling with that verse. Unsurpringly because of this, I found it was hard going for a week or so.

Now, on New Year's Day I have a tradition of finding a quiet moment to comit the coming year to God. This year, I chose to do that in the church I attend - while nobody else was there.

I spent time talking over the things that had bothered me with God. I felt compelled to read up on the life of Isaac. It quickly became apparent to me that Isaac's life as recorded in Genesis; was one of waiting on God. He didn't go after a wife, God brought a wife to him. When the going got rough in Canaan, he didn't head for Egypt; he waited because God said he would bless him in the land he was in.

This is something God laid on my heart. That I don't need to strive to earn or achieve the things and blessings he has for me. What is required of me is that I spend time deepening my experience of and relationship with The Lord.

Waiting is something that doesn't come naturally to me. When things go quiet I'm always guessing the figures and pulling the puzzles apart. In a true sense, that's not waiting, that's keeping yourself occupied to avoid waiting. I spoke the other day about Jesus valuing Mary's resting in his presence over Martha's labouring in the kitchen. I need to rest in God's presence and spend the time resting in him.

I can either see the time I have now as a prison sentence or an opportunity. Up until recently I had been seeing it as a sentence - that every door I had tried was shut and barred, no matter which way I turned. However, I believe God will open those doors when the time is right. I also believe the correct thing for me to do now is to get wisdom. The Bible describes wisdom as being supreme... and worth more than rubies. King Solomon asked God for it... and God honoured that request by blessing him in more conventional ways too.

In Church that day, I found another verse which backs up what I have been saying and which also responds to the Proverb I have struggled with:

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,

for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed."

(Proverbs 3:13-18)

See that last bit? Compare that to the Proverbs 13 scripture!

Finally, there is an old saying:

When the idea is not right, God says "No."
When the time is not right, God says "slow."
When you are not right, God says "Grow."
When all is right, God says "Go."

Though I've often grown tired of waiting, God has only deferred my hope not cancelled it - his reasons are his own. The place where I looked the above words up also had the following note:

Gods delays are not God's denials.

I wish to leave you with that thought and with one final bit of wisdom from the Psalms:
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

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