(Reading List Theme 2.2)

I have not posted a blog in over a week now, because things have been kind of crazy in my life, but I read this chapter a week ago, and I have been pondering it much. God said to Solomon, newly crowned King of Israel after his father died, “Ask anything, and I will give it to you.” Solomon asked for wisdom to lead God’s people.

What would I ask for if I knew I would be granted anything? In all honesty, I would not ask for wealth or fame. I think it would be very nice to have a beautiful home suited for entertaining, to take vacations abroad, and to hire someone else to clean my house. But is that the most important thing to me? No.  I don’t really care to be famous (though I do like being appreciated!). I don’t have enemies to wish vanquished (we are supposed to pray for our enemies anyway!). Long life would be nice… but what I really want is to make a positive difference in the lives that touch mine. And as I have realized while pondering this week, making a positive difference requires the very thing Solomon asked for: wisdom.

When I was a teenager I began to read and study the Bible for myself. I read Proverbs often, which extols of the value of wisdom. That is what I began to ask for. When I was in college I often had people comment that I seemed mature for my age. Some might chalk it up to a solid upbringing, ambition to do well, or just that I have a more serious nature than some. I think it is because I asked for wisdom, and God granted my prayer. Godly wisdom brings glory to God. Why would he not want to answer that prayer? James 1 assures us he will answer that prayer.

But wisdom is something that requires pursuit, or it will get away from us. It requires faith, or we will not have the courage to act on it. When Solomon had this encounter with God, he was in the midst of extravagant worship and thanksgiving. He was earnestly seeking to do God’s will, and I believe he continued to seek God after this encounter. Unfortunately, at the end of his life he strayed from wisdom, which led to the splitting of his kingdom. But he started well. Solomon’s legacy in the Bible is the proverbs, which he is generally thought to have collected and partially written.

One of the reasons I started this blog is because my own pursuit of wisdom – my pursuit of God – has lessened in the hustle and bustle of raising children, moving a thousand miles, finishing a master’s degree, and the general business of life. But I need God’s wisdom, and I desire it, if my life is ever to count for anything.

I wonder, what would I have done if the two women in 1 Kings 3 had come to me, both claiming to be the mother of the living child? Would I have tried to persuade them to be honest? Sought other witnesses? Obviously DNA testing was not an option for Solomon. Though in this particular situation his response seems so profound, and yet also so obvious, I am faced with similar quandaries everyday. How to solve arguments between my kids; how to find a workable system of sharing household chores; how to reach out to my community; how to increase productivity and streamline systems at work… So I pray. I pray for more wisdom when a mom at the park confesses the difficulties she is having with her daughter and the boyfriend she lives with. I pray for more wisdom to share with the couple in church with relationship issues. I pray for more wisdom for how to discipline my children so they will really GET IT. I pray for wisdom as my husband and I try to discern God’s leading in job and home situations… I am sure I do not pray as much as I ought, but I pray for wisdom, because God has both more knowledge than I, and he knows how to apply that knowledge. If I can but listen and obey. It may not always make sense to me to do what God says to do, but it is always wise, a fact that only time can prove.

With Solomon as a reminder, today I come, Lord, with a heart of worship instead of whining, gratitude instead of grudge, humble service instead of human entitlement. Please give me wisdom, Lord. Help me recognize it when it comes, give me the courage to act on it. Let it bring you glory.