I’ve seen some friends talking about the one word that they want to meditate on this year. No resolutions for them that will inevitably fall apart; instead, they were in prayer about a word that might encapsulate a focus for their lives.
I like this idea, but I was really stumped. What word could I use? I ruminated.
· Grace? I need to grant a lot more of that.
· Patience? Give me some, please. I need to demonstrate patience to so many people!
· Joy! Who doesn’t want to have happiness in their lives?
I thought through many, and then it just tucked itself in the back of my mind, out of sight. The idea of a word for this year didn’t push itself back to the forefront until God placed it there.
In my devotional time, it seemed like the scriptures that kept coming up were surrounding the concept of wisdom. I’ve been feeling like I need some wisdom and guidance from God in my life about the choices I make each day and for my and my family’s future. Suddenly, the passages in front of me were about wisdom from a variety of angles – my brother was even bookmarking passages in the Bible app on wisdom not knowing my focus.
One passage in Proverbs seemed to resonate with such wonderful benefits of wisdom:
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil. (Proverbs 2:1-14 ESV)
The lightbulb went on (or God hit me with a 2×4 – you choose). Wisdom. It is the perfect word for where God is wanting me to go this year, whether professionally, personally or with my family.
It sounds perfect, but what does wisdom truly mean? I may have just celebrated another birthday in the 40s, but that by no means makes me wise.
I started searching for passages with wisdom, and it came down to something very, very simple and straightforward.
But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living…Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky….And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:12-13, 20-21, 28 NIV)
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God.
It all starts there, doesn’t it? I can’t become more wise or understand my direction without truly fearing and loving God. Without a walk of obedience with him, I won’t be able to gather that wisdom.
So this year, I will begin with fearing God and loving God and drawing closer to Him. I will focus more simply on being obedient and staying away from evil.
Sounds awfully wise, doesn’t it?
In wisdom and obedience,
– Jen Clark