Anyone with kids knows the dangers of a broken promise – no matter how out of our control the situation is. According to a five year old, a sudden rain storm is no excuse to cancel an evening of fishing because “you promised that we’d go.” To an eight year old, the mention of possibly going to the pool sometime this week means, “We’re going for sure – today.” At least that’s how it works at our house. Therefore, my husband and I have resorted to using a “secret” language (spelling has been out of the question for quite some time now) or locking ourselves in the bathroom to discuss activities that might happen but aren’t guaranteed, rather than risk the trauma of a “broken” promise. As I try to avoid breaking promises with my kids, I am reminded to focus on the unbreakable promises of God for my own life. There is no reason to doubt God; he has never broken a promise. He has fulfilled all that he has said he would. According to an article on CBN.com, “The Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His life, death and resurrection.” Not once (even in those 300 times) did the Lord promise something and then not follow through.
In Jeremiah 29: 11-13, God promises that he has a plan for me (and you), and that when we pray he will listen, and that when we seek him, we will find him. We prayed for wisdom in making the decision for me to quit teaching, and now we must trust in the wisdom God shared. Though the decision to quit has been made, I am still seeking God, searching and waiting to discover what he wants from me next, looking to him for wisdom. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure: then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” As I read James, and am now reading about King Solomon’s reign, this idea of wisdom has been weighing on my mind. We truly believe that quitting is what God wanted from us; it was his wisdom that guided our decision. Therefore, it is pure – not tainted; there is nothing wrong with it, not a thing. When we base our decisions on God’s will and wisdom, we can be assured that it is what is best for us despite difficulties.
James says that wisdom from heaven is also submissive; not a word that I necessarily associated with wisdom. God was definitely teaching me about obedience as a I struggled with whether or not to quit. Every time my rational brain took over, it said, “No, this is ridiculous. You can’t quit; it’s not a smart decision for your family,” yet my heart said, “Stop disobeying your Father in heaven and trust that he will not lead you into disaster.” I had to be submissive to his wisdom because he knows my todays and tomorrows. Why would I want to submit to my own will, when all I know is the past and right now? I have no way of seeing what is to come, so my judgement is based only on what is here now. God knows every moment of my life from birth to death; his wisdom is rooted in the knowledge of the future. I would rather submit to his will than my own. I am still struggling with the lack of control, but it’s the lack of my control that bothers me. I have to remind myself to submit to God’s control because he sees beyond my limited vision of right now.
This verse also says that God’s wisdom is full of mercy and good fruit. Even though I am struggling because I can’t see the next step in my future, God has mercy on me and loves me despite my lack of patience and the presence of fear. He wants to use me to produce good fruit, and by following (and waiting on) his wisdom, he will use me in ways that I don’t even understand.
God’s wisdom is also sincere; some synonyms for this word are heartfelt, wholehearted, profound, deep. When I think about seeking God’s wisdom that is sincere, I feel comfort knowing that God isn’t some salesperson trying to get me to buy his or her product. He wholeheartedly, profoundly, and deeply loves me and wants me to see his wisdom in my life; wants me to follow the path he has already laid out; wants me to wait patiently for that path to be revealed.
The God of the universe has promised that he has a plan for each of us; that same God has never broken a promise. He has promised to give us wisdom when we seek his will; wisdom that is pure, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, and sincere. There is no place for doubt and fear.
Thank you, Lord, for your wisdom and promises. When I am having trouble seeing the big picture and doubt and fear creep in, help me to focus on the unfailing fulfillment of your promise to care for me. Lord, I know that you hold my todays and tomorrows and that you have plans to use me. Help me to be submissive to your will and wisdom and to cling to your promises that will never be broken.