The older I get (or I could say the further into life I get) the more I realize how often I struggle to know the best thing to do when confronted with a dilemma. I’m daily confronted with scenarios, largely but not completely, provided by my offspring which can leave me wondering how to handle the situation. Often, I make these “little” daily decisions without giving much specific prayer or thought to them simply out of necessity. I don’t always have the luxury of time. These decisions mostly fly under the radar and usually don’t give me cause for concern. On the other hand, my children have also provided plenty of occasions that loom large enough to force me to recognize my own inadequacy. When I sit back to consider my relationships with others and the challenges that can sometimes go along with said relationships, I can be amazed by just how often I’m not confident of the best course of action.
I’m not always the most introspective of people (I oftentimes take things at face value in a black and white sort of way—which can be a good thing at times), but thanks to the leadership of my husband, God is continuing to show me that deeper examination is essential as well. Bottom line: I’m striving to be intentional about meditation. Recently, my meditation has been revolving around a couple of ideas: the question of wisdom and the preciousness of God’s Word. For the sake of this article, I’m going to deal a bit with the connection between the two.
I certainly do not always know the best solution to dilemmas that may arise. In the last six months,Recently, I’ve encountered a situation close to my heart that has pushed me up against the wall of “I don’t know what to do” in a tough, new way. I want to fix it, and it’s becoming evident that that may not happen right away. I’ve also discovered that trying to fix it in my time and on my agenda has probably done as much harm as good. God is teaching me new lessons!
While I don’t always know the right answer, I can still know what the answer will look like because God tells me in James 3:17-18 how his wisdom manifests itself: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” Almost every time I compare my thinking with these verses, I come up lacking in my decision-making. Sometimes I think the outcome I’m aiming for could be one of wisdom, but my method is often not peaceable or gentle or full of mercy or…you get the idea. Therefore, at the very least, my method is not wise.
Those verses from James have become very dear to me, because that description of wisdom is full of adjectives that work themselves out into peace. Both in today’s world and in my daily life, peace is a precious goal. One other verse I’d like to highlight makes the obvious link between wisdom and God’s Word. Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). It is my understanding that “have good success” can also mean to do wisely or to make wise decisions. This is one of many, many verses in the Bible that shows that wisdom comes from being in God’s Word (of course!). If I’m reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word, the result should be wisdom…or good success. I will be more than happy if my parenting, my role as wife and homemaker and my relationships can be categorized under “good success.”
I don’t have a pretty wrap-up of glorious victory in these areas that has made a sudden and huge difference in my daily life, but I will say that there is great rest and comfort in meditating on God’s Word. The Lord gives satisfaction as he graciously (and patiently) grows me bit by bit. With his help, I will continue to strive for that “good success” only he can give.
Written by Audrey Beth Roland. This article was published in the Spring 2017 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine. She and her husband Daniel currently live in Colorado Springs, CO with their six children.