The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
The wisdom that translates into a meaningful way of life must be learned from God over time. It is very different from learning knowledge which we can get from many sources of information.
The writers of the Hebrew Bible called wisdom “the fear of the LORD.” We have a problem of understanding this as wisdom because of that little four-letter word “fear”.
So in order to see how very blessed, we are as recipients of a Wisdom-giving God we need to study God’s Word, and pray and be in conversation with God daily. Then over time, and some difficult lessons in giving things over to God, can we be blessed as recipients of God’s mercy, love, and justice! That’s when we begin to see and learn of God’s wisdom. There are some alphabetic symbols we might use to express how God’s wisdom becomes a part of our lives. Symbols like X, Y, and Z.
“X” is the letter often used in mathematics to designate an unknown. It may also stand for an unknown person or thing like “X” marks the spot, or Mr. “X” is the one who will step forward when I call out his address. For me “X” speaks of the mystery and wonder of God. I don’t know about you, but I am constantly amazed at the ways God has worked his wisdom in certain events and people in my life. When I am totally unaware of how God is working his wisdom in and through my life, God is always there with the “X” working out his wisdom in the events I never expected and in people I never expected. I gain insight into God’s wisdom only after the fact, when I look back and see how God has been working all along.
“Y” stands for the time it takes for God’s wisdom to become understood. That often takes Years. Year after year, I have been guided and blessed, and all I can humbly say is “Thanks be to God for God’s wisdom coming at just the right time!”
“Zzzzzzzz” is the symbol often used of quiet and trusting rest at night. That’s why in cartoons we see the zzzzz’s above the characters who are sleeping. Well, Zzzzzzz is when I leave all things in God’s hands, to be directed, guided, and blessed as God sees fit to bless me and those around me. You have probably experienced those Zzzzzzz moments and times when you have finally decided to just turn things over to God and let God take care of it because you could not.
Forgiveness that is finally given to another when you have held a grudge over them is a Zzzzzzz moment in time. It is a time when you put that person in God’s hands and give up all the harsh feelings, and stop holding things against them. A Zzzzzzz moment is also when you realize that God is truly in control and your attempt to control is not working. Well, Zzzzzz moments are blessed with mercy, love, and justice, and we can rest in God’s loving arms.
I have experienced both X, Y, and Z times in my life and all three have been eye-openers, and spirit-filled moments of God’s redeeming love and forgiveness, and moments of knowing the steadfast love of God. They usually have come after lengthy struggles, when I have tried to solve things for myself and failed. I give God thanks and praise for God’s wisdom which endures forever.
When have you experienced those X,Y and Z moments of God’s wisdom in your life?
What holds you back from receiving God’s wisdom at times?
Why do we need God’s wisdom rather than our own wisdom?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.