September 23, 2013

What we Lack

Devotion for the week...

In my efforts to learn free-motion quilting, I have taken 4 Craftsy classes, and I'm signed up for another I haven't yet watched. I've also watched episodes of Quilt it! The Longarm Quilting Show on QNNTV (even though I don't have a longarm) and many of Leah Day's demonstrations of her designs. Seeing the designs emerge effortlessly as these women work is amazing and inspiring. Someday, with much practice, I hope to be good at FMQ.

My husband, Paul, has learned to do a lot of home renovations the last couple of years. Some he has learned through talking with his father or my father, but many of his new skills have come from watching YouTube videos.

We have both said, "How did people learn anything without the internet?!" If we find we lack the skills for something we want to do, a quick search online will usually connect us to someone who has those skills.

In the Bible, James has advice for those who are lacking wisdom. He wrote, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5) My dictionary describes wisdom as "the quality of being wise." Wise is "having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgement."

This verse follows a passage where James tells believers that trials will come, but that the testing of our faith through these trials can make us "mature and complete, not lacking anything." (v. 4) If you are in the midst of a difficult situation and you just don't know how to handle it, ask for wisdom. Ask God to give you the knowledge and good judgement you need for whatever you face and He will give it.

Not only will He give it, James says, He gives generously and without finding fault. He will give wisdom for today, and tomorrow and as many times as you ask, without thinking you shouldn't be asking again or that you should be able to figure this situation out for yourself by now. No, our God gives wisdom generously and without finding fault to those who ask and believe.

James stresses the importance of belief in the next verses: "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." (vv. 6-8) Asking without believing is pointless, he says. We have to have faith that God will give us the wisdom we need for every situation, as many times as we ask for it.

While I could struggle along at my sewing machine, trying to create beautiful FMQ designs without instruction from others, I probably wouldn't do a very good job. The same is true when we are faced with problems. We can try to muddle through with only what we know and what we think is best, but we'll probably make a mess of things. Asking God for how He would have us handle our situations will bring about a much better result.

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