I wrote yesterday a little about what to ask God for, I said that I’d write about it today. I will in a couple sentences.
But I talked a little bit ago with a friend trying to figure out how to speak in a really difficult setting. In the course of our conversation, I remembered a story of someone writing a song by asking God, “What would you say at this wedding?” And there was a song.
It’s not “What would Jesus do.” That often leaves out Jesus and fills in our sense of what we think Jesus SHOULD want.
No, this is sitting alone for a bit, looking the situation, looking at the person we want to talk to, looking at the grief and pain and questions, looking at how trite our answers are sounding, and then saying, “Jesus? Is there anything You’d like to say?”
Sometimes it’s words to me. Sometimes it’s words through me. Sometimes it’s a moment of resting.
But it’s a place to start.
Okay. Now to the post I promised yesterday:
Yesterday, we talked about what to ask God for. Here’s one thing that we learn from Solomon, in a story from 1 Kings.
1. We can ask for the resources to do the work God has given us.
Solomon was the king of Israel. It was a big job. But any leadership role, whether leading a country or leading a conversation, requires wisdom.
- Who’s telling the truth: Jim or Jason or both or neither?
- Who’s going to be hurt most by the decision?
- Who will benefit most from the decision?
- What will help people now AND tomorrow?
These are tough decisions we all face.
And when God asks Solomon what he wants most, Solomon says, “wisdom”. He has to make a lot of life and death decisions. It’s the work that God’s given him. And for the decisions he asks for wisdom.
All of us can ask for wisdom, James says. But there may be other things God would love to have us ask for.
- Enough patience to care for our kids, or our parents who cannot always remember.
- Enough peace to face the surgery.
- Enough courage to have difficult conversations.
- Enough of the right words and fewer of the wrong words.
- Enough self-restraint to be willing to rest.
- Enough strength to care for widows and orphans, and enough vision to see where they are.
- Enough self-control to invest time rather than spend it.
God honored Solomon’s request for wisdom. God told Solomon that he’d get some of the personal things he didn’t ask for. And I know that Solomon got in trouble for not exercising wisdom in his own life.
But the starting point we can learn is to look at what we’re called to do, and ask God for what we need to do it.
And if you need a book about leading funerals, I’ve got one: Giving a Life Meaning: How to Lead Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life