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August 1, 1999

Coming up Short

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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
When life’s little quizzes or comprehensive exams hit, we often reach into our own souls for strength, peace, and perspective, only to find ourselves a few answers short. We are like a young boy who has been saving his quarters for a new baseball glove. He sits down, turns his piggy bank upside down, and counts every coin—but comes up short. He approaches his father and says, “Dad, will you help me? I don’t have enough to buy a glove.”
God has established the ultimate open-door policy with us. If we are short on answers and long on questions, His office is the place to go. If we don’t know what to do, we can call on Him 24/7. If we are stranded at a fork in the road, we can ask for His guidance. When we are overwhelmed by complex problems, we can seek His help.
Navigating the waters of life successfully takes more than sheer knowledge; it also takes wisdom.
It’s important to understand how knowledge and wisdom differ. Knowledge includes the analytical ability to take things apart. Wisdom provides the ability to put things back together. Knowledge is data and information and facts and ideas. Wisdom is the ability to see through to the other side of the clouds that blur our earthly vision. Wisdom is God’s vantage point on our situation. Wisdom is seeing life through His eyes.
God looks ahead to the results of our decisions. He understands our motives. He grasps the consequences. He knows. He sees.
God is not a magic rock that we can rub or a genie in a bottle that we can manipulate or control. However, God never says to us, “Come back later. I’m busy.” Never will He give us the raised-eyebrow, over-the-eyeglasses judgmental stare of a disapproving father. Never will we hear Him say, “You messed up again.” When we have turned our self-sufficiency bank upside down, shaken out its contents, and still find that we’re a few coins short, we can simply approach our heavenly Father for help.

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