As I have mentioned in many blogs before, God speaks to me about my life through retreats. Each retreat has a theme that He reveals. Sometimes the revelation comes in preparation for the retreat and is affirmed while there. Sometimes the revelation comes during. My most recent experience, however, was different. I didn’t get the theme until after it was over. God spoke to me through His creation. I saw and recorded the experience but didn’t get the message until after I returned home and reflected…and the theme…reflections.
Earlier this year during my spring retreat, I received the message to pray for wisdom. This came prior to the retreat and has been continually affirmed in so many ways. I have mentioned many times before that God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours. As I reflect over the years and all the messages and themes He has revealed to me, I see more and more that what He leads me to pray for almost always turns out quite different than I would expect.
Skipping over all the previous themes, I want to jump right into the one He revealed to me at the beginning of the year…wisdom.
The twist of faith here is that when I think about wisdom…I think about how it is the proper application to knowledge. Wisdom also makes a connection between the head and heart. It’s taking what I know and what’s in my heart… and knowing what to do with it. I guess for me, that’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is how much we know. Wisdom is what we do with what we know. One is about intellect. The other is how we apply our heart to what we know…and consequently…how we live it out. Also, a person does not necessarily have to possess great knowledge to have great wisdom. I have known young children overflowing with wisdom beyond their years…yet still lacking much in knowledge.
As with all gifts from God, wisdom has its drawbacks. One of the biggest “surprises” I received with the wisdom God gave to me…is that it was easier to be a Christian when I wasn’t wise to some of the things God has opened my heart and mind up to. I was surprised that when He opened my heart to His in this area, some things that were revealed were difficult to accept. Instead of opening my eyes to things that are wrong in the world, He opened my eyes to the condition of His people and how far we have fallen from grace…and are totally unaware. While at the same time, He opened my eyes to so much in my personal life. He put all the pieces of the puzzle together and things I have never understood began to make sense! (This will be another blog because it’s way too much information to put here.) So many things fall into place when God’s wisdom comes to light. I read the Bible differently. Things that never made sense before are becoming so clear. I notice things that I never would have noticed before. I have discovered that I have had some wrong thinking in some areas. I have learned how to forgive and experienced the freedom of forgiveness. I have learned that some I thought wise were not as wise as I thought…and others are wiser. In the same breath, I tell you that the twist of faith applies in this area as well. It’s amazing what God can teach us through those who don’t even know Him. In fact, I think I have gained more wisdom in the most unlikely places…and even from those who are ignorant of Truth…than I have from many great theologians.
Now, I am not saying I did not gain from teachings of theologians. I did! I have so much more knowledge than ever before and God has revealed Himself to me in many ways as I have sought to gain knowledge. Seeking knowledge about the things of God is wisdom! But, man does not grant us wisdom about the things of God. True wisdom comes from God alone through the Holy Spirit whom the Father (God) sent to reveal all Truth. Apart from the power of the Spirit…knowledge is just fruitless knowledge. Applying wisdom to that knowledge is the only way to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
Each year, at my retreats (if not before), God leads me to pray for (or focus on) a particular area in my life where He is about to grow me. He leads me to pray in preparation for what is to come. But, it is never what I think. God opened my eyes so much this year. He took all the crazy messed up puzzle pieces of my life and put them all together before my very eyes and for the first time, I got to see the whole picture. For the first time, I completely understand why things have gone the way they have gone and the marvelous good He has worked out through the circumstances. But the most important wisdom came through learning how to relate to my adult children. He taught me how to respond to an unexpected pregnancy…and changed my world and healed a broken relationship through the birth of that precious child…my grandson. He taught me how I needed to let go. My adult children are adults now. God is their Father and I have let them go to His care. It is not my job to tell them what to do…but to offer them words of wisdom and be an example. It is my job to pray for them and to trust that the God I pray to will tell them what to do…and discipline as needed when they don’t. It is my job to teach by example and to love unconditionally. That is just one example of what He has opened my eyes to this year since I began praying for wisdom. There is so much more… I could write a book…wait..I am!
Now, if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and without criticizing , and it will be given to him.