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A Wisdom Retreat - April 15


But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5

We have four children, and all four had the same problem when they were babies: they wouldn’t fall asleep unless we were in the room with them.

At eight months, when one of our twin sons would start crying, the other would try to outdo him. They couldn’t understand that we needed sleep, too! So our real aim was not so much to help them get to sleep as it was to teach them how to sleep without us in the room.

In a couple of more months they would figure out how to climb out of their cribs and toddle into our room; that would prove to be a different challenge altogether.

Just when all seemed lost, an experienced parent gave us some good advice: wait ten minutes after the twins started to cry, go into the bedroom, pick them up with their pacifiers, give them a hug, lay them down, put their blankie back under their chins, pat them on the head, and say, “Night-night.” Then leave.

Of course, the crying would start again—at an even higher pitch. However, we were to wait fifteen minutes this time before repeating the process. By now their little faces were red from screaming at our indifference. The next time we’d wait an additional five minutes . . . then five more . . . and so on, until they finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. We did, too!

Marsha and I put this advice to the test and found that in one week, it worked wonders.

Has it ever occurred to you that a child’s ability to sleep alone is a sign of physical and mental maturity? Our own spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God even when we feel alone . . . when God seems absent or distant.

Wisdom teaches us that sleepless nights and physical trials don’t mean God has disappeared. They may very well be His way of helping us to grow up.

James reminds us in his epistle that if any of us lacks wisdom, we should ask God because He gives to all who seek it. I love that word all. God doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t say, “Sorry, but you’re not one of my top students; you don’t get as much as the other guy.” No. God gives wisdom to all who ask.

And not just a little spoonful, either—He dishes it out generously. God never says, “You again?! Sorry, I’ve got no more left; you used the last bit of wisdom earlier this morning.”

Hardly. God’s supply never runs out . . . He always has plenty in stock!

Warren Wiersbe tells the story of a secretary who underwent a severe trial. Her husband had lost his sight and she had suffered a minor stroke simultaneously. Not long after, her husband grew ill and was rushed to the hospital.

Wiersbe spoke to her at church one Sunday and assured her that he was praying for them. She startled him when she asked, “What exactly are you asking God to do?” “Well,” he responded, “I’m asking God to help you and strengthen you.” She replied, “I appreciate that, but I want you to pray for this: that I’ll have the wisdom not to waste all this suffering.”

This woman knew the meaning of James 1:5. And she was truly growing up in her walk with Christ as she prayed for wisdom to make the most of her trial.

Grow up! Let your prayer today be for wisdom . . . no matter what you’re facing.

Prayer Point: Whatever trial you’re going through today, pray for God to help you make the most of it by giving you wisdom to see it through.

Extra Refreshment: Read the comforting words of King David in Psalms 30 as he remembers God’s character and love, even in the midst of distress.

Wisdom for the Heart online

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