God often teaches us powerful lessons when He places us in situations where we become painfully aware of our limitations.
I vividly remember sitting in the rocking chair in the nursery in the wee hours of the morning, a first-time mom holding my fussy newborn baby. I was tired, emotional, frazzled. We had trouble with feedings, struggled getting her to sleep. Although I had read everything I could get my hands on as I waited for AG’s arrival, nothing had fully prepared me for the utter sacrifice of motherhood.
It was in that place that God taught me the prayer that has been the theme of my parenting years, and I expect it to be my theme for the rest of my life – “You said that if we lack wisdom we should ask and you would give it – Lord, please give me wisdom, because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing!” He did. He does. When we ask, He gives it.
King Solomon came to a dramatic point of realizing his inadequacies and His desperate need for God’s gift of wisdom. God appeared to him and told him to ask for whatever he desired. What would you ask for if God appeared to you and offered to give you anything you desired? Anything?
Solomon’s reply is profound.
“Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
1 Kings 3:7-9 (NIV)
Solomon understood the weight of the responsibility God had given to him. He had watched his father rule wisely, even if not perfectly. His father David had modeled for him the fact that the throne was not really his – it was God’s. The people did not belong to him for his benefit – they were God’s beloved ones. The job was huge, the ramifications eternal.
And so, knowing his own limitations and standing in awe of His sovereign God, Solomon makes his humble plea – “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” The Lord was pleased with the nature of Solomon’s request, and He granted him all that he needed and much more.
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man …and his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five… Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
1 Kings 4:29-34 (NIV)
Have you come to a place of realizing your inadequacies? Whether as mothers, teachers, ministry leaders, or whatever roles God has placed us in during this season of life, we desperately need His wisdom. We must humble ourselves before Him and recognize that on our own, we are unable to carry out what He has called us to do. We must come to Him as little children, asking Him to give us wise hearts and instructed tongues to serve Him well.
If any of you lacks wisdom,let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1:5 (ESV)
He does. When we ask, He gives it.