As part of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association, we were issued a challenge to write about specific topics this month. Today it’s about wisdom we have found in the Bible.
The simplest things I could do, right now, is copy and paste the entire book of Proverbs into this. A pastor once challenged me to read one chapter, each day, according to the day of the month. Thirty one chapters equals one a day. I did that for years. It made a permanent impact on me. I still hear all those verses coming back during different situations.
Proverbs 29:1 says that a stiff necked man, who refuses correction, will be destroyed without remedy.
Yeah. Stay humble and teachable.
Proverbs 22:29 says to watch the man who is skilled in his work. He will stand before kings and not be left in obscurity.
Slobs and slackers don’t get riches or recognition. (Except on reality tv) Do your work well. Maintain your integrity. Take pride in doing things the best you can. Expect success and work for it.
Honestly. I could do this all day.
Proverbs is pretty much my favorite reading selection in there. I always find something I missed. Something is always fresh and powerful. But, there’s another book that I pull out when I need the big guns.
When everything in my life needs more than encouragement and wisdom, I go for my heavy artillery. The chapters that declare God’s utter defiance of everything we know to be possible or impossible. That spot in the Old Testament where all hope was lost and history turned on a dime.
Second Kings 6:24 through 7:20 the siege of Samaria. ( you can read it here )
It’s the story of Samaria, surrounded by a massive army. Starved the point of eating their own children. The situation was beyond hopeless.
The king decided that he wasn’t waiting for God anymore, and decided to execute the prophet. Elisha told him that within 24 hours there would be food and supplies abundant in the city. He prophesied that all their troubles would end in only 24 hours.
The idiot escorting the king declared it to be impossible. Elisha said that it would happen, and he would see it, but not taste it.
And it happened just like that. Within 24 hours, their whole world turned around. No more hunger. They got their life back.
There have been hundreds of times when I was looking for that 24 hour miracle. When I knew my life was over, without God coming through in an epic way. And, to be honest, it only happened like that a few times. Normally, it took longer. It caused me to use the wisdom and resolve I had developed from the Proverbs seasons. It made me dig deeper into my faith and defy my circumstances longer than I thought I could.
It reminds me of a story a friend told me.
There was a guy who owned an orange grove. They were in a drought. Most of the orange groves in the area were already ruined.
His brother got concerned and drove down to see him. On the way he passed one horrible looking orange grove after another. Growing more concerned every mile, he was shocked to see his brother smiling when he arrived at his house.
They got in the car and drove out to his grove. The brother couldn’t believe his eyes.
In the midst of a drought, with every grove in the area looking like death, the brother had maintained a picture perfect orange grove.
“How is this possible?” Asked his brother.
“Simple, my neighbors water their trees every day. Those groves stay wet most of the year. I don’t. In fact, I rarely water my trees. You see, without me giving the water to them every day, it forces their roots deeper. The search for water on their own. Eventually, they don’t need me to provide extra water. They have already tapped into their own supply.”
Just like us.
If God threw money at us every time we asked… Well… That would be cool. But, it wouldn’t develop our faith. We wouldn’t become self sufficient in feeding our own faith. We would wither and die at every dry season. We wouldn’t have the resolve to to dig in and trust God to come though for us when we need it.
Those seasons with Proverbs dug in my roots. I don’t roll over and die when there’s trouble. I know that God will come through. I know what I believe. My roots are established and whether it takes 24 hours or 24 years, nothing in my faith changes.
I defy the possible and impossible. Even in seasons like now, when everything seems stuck. Money we need isn’t there. Circumstance weight against us. Fatigue is weighing us down. I still believe.
I can’t help but look back on past victories and answered prayer, stories like Second Kings 6 and 7; and know that the impossible can become possible overnight.