Tag Archives: Solomon

I didn’t know you could do that!

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Recently I had a conversation with my sister who works in an upper management position in a senior housing complex.  She told me about a conversation she had with a very liberal, Christian co-worker who asked her, “How have you climbed the corporate ladder so fast at such a young age?”

My sister replied, “I asked God for favor.”

The shocked look on the woman’s face told my sister that this was probably the first time she had ever heard of something like that.  She had no idea that you could do something like that, ask God for favor.  And it shook her so deeply that the woman shared my sister’s “testimony” in a sermon she preached in her church.  My sister had no idea that it would so rattle this woman and drive her to dig deeper into her faith.  It was a good thing that came from one simple, honest expression of faith.

Photo credit: ManImMac / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: ManImMac / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

God gave King Solomon the chance to ask for anything he wanted.  He could have asked for riches, for peace in the kingdom, for wives with powerful political alliances, for fame.  But no.  Solomon asked for Wisdom.  He knew he wasn’t smart enough to rule the kingdom in his own wisdom.  He needed God’s help.

God was so pleased with this request, that he not only made Solomon’s Wisdom legendary, but he granted Solomon all the requests that he hadn’t asked for as well.  Not only did other world leaders travel far and wide to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, but Solomon was also the richest king in the world at that time.  He had more wives than was good for him, more fame than he could use, and enough resources and political peace to build a magnificent temple to the Lord.  Solomon got the whole package.

God delights in giving good gifts to his children.  If we, who are sinful, know how to give good gifts to our children, imagine how much more our Heavenly Father is predisposed to give generously to us when we ask for good things.  Ask the Lord for favor with your boss and co-workers.  Ask the Lord for opportunities to do good in this world.  Ask God for the wisdom you are lacking.  God is happy to give these gifts to us.

I am asking God for wisdom to do my new job well and for favor with parents and co-workers.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Life on a Paper Plate

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As I carried multiple piles of folded laundry to the various corners of the house, I passed by 3 small pictures propped up against the wall in the hallway.  We have lived in this house for 2 ½ years and I have still not hung those pictures.  As missionaries we live our lives in 4-year segments: on the field 4 years, home 1 year raising funds.  Since we only have 18 months left in this cycle, those pictures will likely stay leaning against the wall instead of being hung.

I sigh when I think about how temporary our life feels.  As a mom, nothing I do stays done permanently.  I make food; the children are hungry again 4 hours later.  All week long I clean the house; then I start over again on Monday.  I wash and fold laundry; by bedtime there is another load to wash (I’ve thought about ordering everyone to be nude for a day or two just to give me a break, but only my youngest would comply.)  Nothing stays done.

As a teacher, I can teach a whole year only to start over in the same book next year and reteach the same material.  As a missionary, we can raise funds only to have the account empty to zero each month.  We teach the basics of leadership and discipleship over and over and over again because kids keep graduating and a new batch comes along.  Nothing stays done.

One time I asked my dental hygienist what attracted her to this job (because frankly you couldn’t pay me enough to clean someone’s teeth!)  She said, “Nothing in my life stays done.  But when I clean someone’s teeth, I can look at that and say, ‘there, it’s done.’”  In my mind I was thinking, it’s only done until the guy eats his next meal, but I guess she doesn’t see that.

My point is, this feeling of life being temporary seems to be universal.  Don’t go reading Ecclesiastes when you’re in this mood.  Solomon was in a dark mood when he penned the words, “Meaningless!!  Everything under the sun is a meaningless chasing after the wind.”  And it’s true, sometimes.

Life can feel temporary and meaningless.  My dad grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic and often suicidal mother.  She served dinner on paper plates.  To this day, my dad hates eating on paper plates because it reminds him of how temporary life felt as a child.  I guess his paper plates are my unhung pictures.

And this is the very reason that I can’t imagine doing anything with my life except serving the Lord.  Only what is done for the Kingdom of God has eternal significance.  Why build another kingdom here on this temporary earth when you could be investing your energies in something that will last forever?  The Bible says, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”