Links Daily Devotional

In the Meantime, Part 6: Wisdom

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5, NLT)

Two years ago at the PNC Father/Son Challenge my dad and I faced a 12-foot putt on the final hole for our eighth consecutive birdie to complete a five-stroke comeback. This putt would have given us the lead, and it would have secured us at least a playoff against Davis Love III and his son, Dru, or an outright victory if they did not birdie the final hole in the group behind us.

After having missed my putt, I watched my dad stroke an absolutely perfect putt that rolled right where he aimed into the left-center of the cup. Then, the unthinkable happened. The ball appeared to hit the liner of the cup at just the wrong angle and bounced out on the opposite side of the hole. As fate would have it, the Loves did birdie the final hole and beat us by a stroke.

I probably don’t have to tell you how many times I replayed that putt in my mind, and it did not help every time I was reminded by somebody who watched it on TV and asked, “How’d that putt not go in?” Well, two years later, I’m still not sure of the physics as to “How?” but I’m almost 100 percent sure that I now know “Why?”

I have become as thankful for this “bad break” as I am for just about anything in my life because of the spiritual maturity and wisdom I gained from it. You see, it wasn’t just a trophy we didn’t receive. There was a lot of prize money on the line for winning, and I was in a place financially that I thought we really could have used the funds. So for about a day, I thought God had made a mistake and neglected us when I really could have used him; however, I quickly realized that God had a greater plan than mine, and it must have required that we not win to get us there.

Wisdom is well-defined as “the ability to see current circumstances within a broader context.” I remember these events were critical for reminding me to ask God to give me the wisdom to see things as he sees them. He’s been faithful to give me that through his Word.

What I now know is that the amount we received was exactly what was needed for God to continue to do the work he was already doing in me for the future. He was in the process of teaching me some important things, and I truly believe now that winning the event would have removed me too quickly from the “in the meantime” place we were then experiencing.

God showed me that my circumstances were not nearly as important as the lessons he was teaching me through them for my spiritual growth, including the insight of James in the scripture that follows today’s verse about asking for wisdom: “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do” (James 1:6-8).

Where is your loyalty as you struggle in “in the meantime?” My prayer is that you’ll come to believe that God is not distant in this time, but rather at work in you to mature you. Smooth going in this world can quite possibly negatively impact us, providing less opportunity for growth. That’s why God’s plan often looks different than our own.

Josh Nelson
December 16, 2014
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