Wednesday Wonderings

Wisdom or Wishy-washy? by Virgil Stripes

James 1:5-8 (ESV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Wisdom: defined by most dictionaries as knowledge or learning, sometimes that which is passed down by elders or the learned. I think it is the practical application of knowledge. I don’t just want to know things, I want to know how they apply. I want to be able to use the knowledge that I have in a practical way. I want to be able to help people to find sense in this world of craziness in which we live. But sometimes I struggle with indecision. I need to make certain that I am not as described above as a double-minded man. Wishy-washy. I believe God can grant me wisdom, and I believe that He will. Let us all pray for wisdom right now. God can help us see how to get through all the challenges we face today. God listens to us when we pray, Jesus taught and reassured us of that.

When I was in Germany back in 1990, my wife and I lived in a little town on the German economy. We had a terrific view out of our apartment window of a nice little hill forested pretty much half and half deciduous and evergreen. One night in January, we went to bed as usual, and were awakened in the middle of the night by strong winds rattling the Rolladen (heavy metal blinds that roll up). When we got up on the morning, we had a view similar to the destruction seen in this photo. The hillside was 50% cleared. The evergreens had all been snapped off or uprooted, the deciduous half was still fine. Being winter, the deciduous trees bent with the wind, but without leaves, they did not have enough wind resistance to get torn up. Germany lost 10 years of timber harvest that night. When we left Germany in 1994, there were still in many places in the forests piles of logs waiting to be processed. They could not process them quickly enough, but the piles of logs had the bark stripped off, to prevent beetles and other insects from getting into and ruining the wood.

I tell this story for two reasons: First, the winds of society can be just as devastating as actual winds in destroying people's lives. We need to stand fast, bending a little, but not changing, or we will be snapped or uprooted. Second, the foresters in Germany had the wisdom to prepare the logs to wait for processing without losing the quality of the wood. We need to look for the wise solutions to difficulties we face. We need to help one another, and love one another.

Prayer: Lord God, we know that You have the answers. We know that you love us. We are grateful to have the blessed assurance of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice. Send us Your Spirit, Lord, to teach us wisdom. Do not let us be blown this way and that by the winds of society. Help us to understand Your direction. Jesus, You promised that “The Comforter” would come upon us, and lead us all into wisdom, and teach us the Scriptures. Help us to understand how to apply Your Word, and to be a beacon of light and love in this dark and hateful world. In Jesus’ Name we pray.

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