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Our Patient Father

When we ask for wisdom, what might we say?

“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). 

I have mentioned that I am directionally-challenged. A fellow pastor and I would head out to lunch at a place we both enjoyed by where he lived. Invariably, I would need to ask for turn-by-turn directions, even after having gone there several times. My friend would patiently tell me which way to go. 

It would be a bit embarrassing for me to ask for directions from my friend but he always responded with as much information as I needed and without recrimination. That’s how James describes our interactions with our heavenly Father. God will respond to our request for wisdom generously and without reproach. 

God never says, “Are you back again?” or “How dumb can you be?” He tends to His children in their foolishness and according to their need. He knows our frame. He is responsive to our plea. 

When we ask for wisdom, what might we say? There is no formula, no script. It’s simply a matter of being real before our God. No Christian happy face. No stiff upper lip. We simply lay the trial out before Him, being honest about our struggles, our doubts, our fears. 

If we need a tutorial in this sort of conversation with God, we need look no further than the psalms. The psalms give us all sorts of vocabulary – praise, confession, lament, confusion, doubt, thanksgiving, petition – for wrestling with God in the direction of hope. 

“O Lord, You who hear prayer, to You I come. Meet with me as I meet the trial.”

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and ten grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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