What I Lack is Wisdom
As I have grown older and wiser, the more I realize that I am lacking wisdom. If I depended on what appears to be the best course or best solution, I can often choose what has momentary benefit only to discover that it was faulty and sometimes even harmful. All of life is like this. Whether it is a project in my workshop, relationships, goal-setting, investing, or anything else of significance, I am prone to choose what is obvious to me. However, what is obvious is not always best or even advisable. Even when I have knowledge, I may incorrectly apply what I know in a situation or choice that requires some more careful thinking before acting.
Where to Go for Clarity
One clarity resource is the Old Testament book of Proverbs. I plan to teach a series of lessons to some friends in India in a couple of weeks. Because I have not mastered Proverbs or wisdom, I ordered some more books from authors I trust to help guide me in my studies and in the creation of the syllabus. One such resource, that is now in my Logos library on my laptop is by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.: Preaching the Word: Proverbs—Wisdom That Works.
God’s Enabling is Found in the Gospel
If I want to be equipped and enabled for life, I need to examine life at the cross. This perspective is quite humbling. It tells me that I am loved and that God’s work, even when it seems painful or hopeless, is for good. Here is one of the first things I saw in Ortlund’s book when I opened it for the first time on my laptop:
When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him
And with mighty blows converts him
Into shapes and forms of clay
Which only God can understand
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes
How He uses whom He chooses
And with mighty power infuses him
With every act induces him
To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about.
Ortlund wisely observes that “Wisdom is the gospel of Christ reshaping us for royalty, as God places us on his anvil and we trust him enough to stay there until his work is done.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Preaching the Word: Proverbs—Wisdom That Works, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 19.
The work God is doing is enabling me for what is best for me and for everyone in my life. To God, therefore, be the glory.
Five Minute Friday
This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.