Wisdom Or No Wisdom

Well, I think we’ve found the place. There was just one more place on the list, and it turned out to be just about perfect! Currently under construction, it is floor-less, kitchen-counter-less, light-less, and assembled-bathroom-fixtures-less. But even in this condition, it is by far the best candidate we’ve seen yet. A big room that should be able to hold 50 people comfortably, 65 people uncomfortably. Couple bedrooms, bathrooms. A little expensive, but worth the cash. So I left an offer on the table, and I’m trying to wait them out. They won’t be done with the construction for a couple more days, so there’s time to sweat it.

Our God is awesome. I still have a car in the States that I’ve been trying to sell since we came to China, but there haven’t been any good offers. While St. and I were looking at a house the other day, I just had a thought (I can’t say prophecy, of course, but it was a legitimate thought!) that it would be great to sell that car right now. The next morning I had an email from home saying that there’d been a great offer on the car. I thank God – it’s just a little prayer, a little answer, a little money, but He more than anyone knows how much I need my faith to be built. There’s a map of China in my office, and I just about shudder anytime I look at it. The task ahead is overwhelming: we need His power.

Speaking of requests, I was thinking about Solomon the other day and his “one wish” vision from God. We all know that Solomon asked for wisdom, but it had never occurred to me to ask why this was such a good request, or why Solomon wanted it in the first place. I always kind of imagine the scene as a kind of game show, where Solomon has to guess what it is God wants him to say, and if he guesses right, he wins all kinds of cool prizes. “Wisdom… is that your final answer?” Wisdom, therefore, must be the most important thing to God…

But Solomon wasn’t trying to “guess right.” Wisdom was what he really wanted! But why? “…for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” Solomon looked at the position God had given him and realized his own inadequacy. He saw the people that he had a charge to and realized that he wasn’t enough for them. He wasn’t the leader he should be. And, it turns out, God seems to like doing big things who plead for the sake of His people.

Turns out wisdom ain’t enough. “Wisdom to lead a people” is the long form of Solomon’s request. Sure, I could go for some wisdom – to manage my money, to cover my tail, to foresee personal problems, to make a name for myself, to climb the ladder faster. Too bad God sees deeper than our selfish pleas for wisdom. He cares about His people. And He wants the leader to care, too. Seems like those are the people that get an extra helping of wisdom!

Equally as interesting to me is God’s response. The first thing the Lord does is compliment Solomon for what he didn’t choose! He said, “Good job, Solo – you didn’t ask for a long life, riches, or the lives of your enemies.” Hey! Who let God look at my prayer list! That’s what I pray for! “God, protect me! Give me a healthy, long life!” “God, provide for me! I’ve got financial burdens!” “God, avenge me! Destroy those who stand against me!” I mean, I’m in China after all! I need more time, more money, and less enemies if we hope to finish the job here!

Turns out, what I really need is more wisdom. Wisdom to lead. God can protect, provide, and avenge pretty easily (no will of man necessary). Getting wisdom into my skull, though, has proven to be more difficult! Let alone for the right reasons!

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