On Tuesday, my youngest daughter called. “Dad, if you have time, I’d like to email you our home inspection report. Would you be able to look it over?” Christine is a bright woman, well-educated, uber-responsible, and very competent. But, she still reached out to get some of Dad’s experience and wisdom for their pending home purchase. It makes my old heart glad to be included in her life. Though my Dad has been gone from this earth for 12 years, I still miss the opportunity to talk over life with him. As a whole new stage of my life approaches, I’d love to ask him what he would do again, what he might do differently.
There is a Father to Whom I do turn. My prayers, my time in His Presence, often includes a listening for the whisper of His wisdom as I ponder life. I love that older worship chorus that says, “Draw me to my knees, so we can talk… let me know You’re here with me.” We live in an unsettled time, one of rapid cultural shifts.
Oh, how we need to be Fathered, steadied, given guidance. I can identify with David’s emotions when he prays, “For troubles surround me— too many to count! They pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head. I have lost all my courage.” (Psalm 40:12, NLT) “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God.” (Psalm 40:17, NLT)
Are you needing counsel?
God reaches out to us with an invitation: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NIV) And what does my Abba say?
He counsels patience, steady faith! “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:8, NLT)
He reminds us of the eternal! “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-2, NIV)
He invites us to a purposeful life! “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:10-11, NIV)
His wisdom may arrive as an inspired thought, a flash of insight.
It may be in some article you just ‘happen’ to read or in a podcast recommended by a friend
It may come as your pastor speaks on Sunday.
It may be a passage from the Word that takes new light.
Perhaps a friend will sense your need and be moved by the Spirit to come alongside and help.
God will guide if we turn to Him.
The Proverb reminds us to “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. ” (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message) When we ask, we must listen. Listening prayer can be the most difficult kind. But, we must discipline our minds to stop talking, to stop rehearsing our fear or uncertainty so can we can hear the ‘still, small voice’ that whispers God’s assurance to us.
Jesus spoke of turbulent times that would come upon the earth and gave this counsel to His disciples. “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19, KJV) Memorize those 7 words and when you’re filled with questions, repeat them. What do they mean? “Patience” is a translation of the NT Greek word that asks a person to ‘stand firm.’ Jesus is asking you and me to take charge of our impulses and to choose to be faithful, to ‘stand up under pressure.‘ God counsels us to renew our resolve. So, square your shoulders. Show some grit! Finish well!
My Dad’s counsel, offered to me many times in the past, is found in one of his favorite Psalms. It is a word from the Word for us today. Receive it, live it.
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:2-7, NLT)
Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free
Silently now I wait for Thee
Ready my God Thy will to see
Open my eyes illumine me
Open my ears that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear
And while the wave notes fall on my ear
Everything false will disappear
Open my mouth and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share
Clara H. Fiske Scott © Words: Public Domain