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Searching For Wisdom

A thought occurred to me today as I was trying to help my home schooling first grade daughter. I was attempting to help her gain the understanding of some of the nuances of our education (how exactly do you explain what an “apostrophe” does or what exactly an odd number is? “Uh, well, see it’s an odd number because, see, it’s odd, err, it’s not even, uh, let’s go ask your mother”). As I was sitting there, it hit me that, to God, I am much more like my non-understanding daughter than I am the understanding grown-up.

I usually like to think that I get it. I’m “mature.” Well, perhaps, but as I consider just the previous six months, I was staring in the mirror as a very tall first-grader. The truth hurts, but honesty is one strong step on the path to wisdom. I’m not as smart as I like to think I am. I don’t have it together as well as I think I do.

The Bible speaks plenty on wisdom, much about the need to pursue it, and, once finding it, the need to use it sensibly and keep walking in it. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Proverbs 28:26 teaches me: “Trusting oneself is foolish, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.”

Ah, see, therein lies a lot of my problem—I too often trust myself, yet the Word also tells me that I don’t even know my own heart. So I look around for something to cling to, for something to rest on, and I only trust to myself. In the end, like the preacher in Ecclesiastes, I despair. Yes, he stuck with wisdom; he also decried seeking wisdom at times (times when he probably was weak or weary and had made the same mistake I made—trusting too much in myself).

The answer? I think I see it many places as long as I have faith. For instance, in Habakkuk 2:3, God says, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.” I must wait with patience for all of God’s will to come to pass, both in my life and in the world. And while waiting, I can remember to trust Him like my daughter trusts me.

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In that trusting state, I can hear best what God said to Jeremiah: “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

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