“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
These words from the book of James have impacted my prayer life in life-giving and in difficult seasons. In journal entries from the years since I moved to Birmingham, I can trace patterns in the prayers I’ve written to the Lord. Heeding James’ advice, my prayer has been for the Lord to give me wisdom. Whether with life decisions, caring for students who are struggling, completing mundane everyday tasks, or maintaining relationships, wisdom has consistently been my plea.
In re-reading those journals, I realized how countercultural it was for James to teach us about wisdom. Moreso, how countercultural it is for us to ask for wisdom even now. We are tempted to go to everything else to seek refuge and find a quick fix. We instantly want answers. So we find ourselves spending more time reading blogs, talking to friends, reading a self-help book, listening to a podcast, or watching a talk show to find the wisdom that God has told us comes from him. We can quickly turn to these things before we get on our knees to pray for wisdom and dive deep into God’s Word.
We is me. How many times have I sought counsel from someone other than the Lord through prayer or scripture? When anything other than the Lord takes priority above seeking Him for wisdom, I have gotten things disordered.
This shouldn’t surprise us. It has happened ever since the garden. Eve sought counsel from another source that led her astray. The giver of wisdom Himself walked with her, yet in a moment, she sought to find wisdom elsewhere. Somewhere that she thought may be better than what she already had been given and we see the effects of this ever since.
We feel the pain of this brokenness and our hearts ache from it. We ourselves have been broken, but God is gracious to meet us in the middle of our brokenness and save us. He offers us more than we could ever do ourselves and more than we deserve. When we are overwhelmed and the weight of the world is crashing down upon us, He picks us up, lifts our weary head, and guides us.
The brokenness around us should drive us even more to our need for wisdom. James says if we lack wisdom, we can ask God for it because our God is the fountain from which wisdom overflows. Proverbs 2:6-7 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.” He is the source of wisdom. Wisdom belongs to and is given from God. The Bible doesn’t tell us that we just fall into wisdom. It is something we seek. We ask for it. And even in the midst of brokenness, God is kind and God is faithful to us. Faithful to draw us to Himself, the true source of wisdom, time and time again.
He doesn’t run out. He doesn’t run dry. He lavishes it upon us. All we need is to ask.
Casey Boss joined our staff team in June 2016 as the Student Ministry Associate tasked with helping us shepherd girls, moms, and adult leaders in student ministry. She enjoys going to concerts and loves to travel.