Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wisdom in Whom We Believe

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Here three men facing certain death, standing before the mightiest king of the time, dare to tell him that it does not matter what he does to them the God they serve will rescue them. With full confidence they say this. Then they add but even if he doesn't we will not serve your gods or bow before the gods you have erected.

What are you facing? Is it the loss of a parent? The rebellion of a child? The distance of a spouse? Maybe it is not anything dramatic or life altering but you are just so tired of doing the same thing everyday. What do you decide? Do you say in defeat that you will bow before whatever it takes to put your life back together or do you cling to the God who,9- whether he changes your circumstances or not is worth believing in.

In 2006 my husband and I started the long process of becoming foster parents. We did this with the hope that we would be able to adopt a set of twins that we knew of in the foster system. We worked diligently on our paperwork, went to classes, had our home inspected all with the hope that we would soon be holding these dear little babies in our arms. We dreamed the dreams of expectant parents. Wondered at the ways our lives were going to change. I shopped a little (OK a lot). And everyday we felt like we were getting one step closer to becoming parents. We received word in October of 2006 that we were now certified Foster Parents. I notified my work that as soon as the twins were placed with us I would be leaving. They found my replacement and I trained her. In November I called the case worker just to see if we would have the twins placed by Christmas and I was told that they were no longer available for placement. I was devastated. I had worked so hard and done everything right how could I not be rewarded. I faced a decision. I could take the situation in my own hands and begin manipulating it to achieve my goal or I could place my trust in God. After agonizing and crying I sat down and prayed that God would protect the twins and place them with the family he had designed for them. I told him that even if he never gave me children I would believe him. Like the three Hebrew men I full expected God to rescue me. But I had to get to the point where I surrendered. I had to say that even when I don't get what I want, when I am not treated the way I expect or my world falls apart I will not bow before any god but you.

The twins were placed in an adoptive home and their adoption was finalized in 2009. But God had a different plan for my husband and me. On March 13, 2007 we received a call that our agency had a 6 week old little girl they needed to place in an adoptive home. Our daughter Abbey joined our family that day. Six months later another call came asking if we would take her 6 year old sister Lydia. On September 22, 2007 our family grew to four. We looked forward to adoption day. On May 3 I found out that after 10 years of marriage I was pregnant. We adopted Abbey and Lydia 10 days later and Sophie was born December 11, 2008. God knew but I could not have begun to imagine that in the course of 22 months I would be the mother of 3 little girls.

Whatever you are facing you have a choice. The choice is to be wise and (as hard as it is) to say I believe that you can rescue me but even if you don't I will believe. Even if my parent dies, my child makes horrible choices that will affect the lives of everyone in our family or my marriage is forever changed by distance I will believe that you have a better plan. I will believe that you love me. and I will believe that even if I do not see it in this life it is all worth believing in you. Believing is not easy but it is always best.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Confidence in wisdom

Proverbs 31:11a says that Her husband has full confidence in her. For a moment take out the word husband and insert one of these. Co-worker, boss, children, mother, father, friends the list could go on and on. A person living a life of wisdom does not give anyone around them cause to doubt their integrity, work ethic, or their ability to do what has been asked of them.

During my first few years of marriage my husband lost his confidence in me. I was spending money that we needed for bills on other things and was not honest about my spending habits. This went on until my husband told me one day that he didn't trust me anymore, not just about money but about everything. If I was not willing to be honest about my spending habits than he could not have confidence I was being honest about anything. This was a real eye opener to me. I wanted my husband to be able to trust me and believe that I had his best in mind at all times. Together we worked hard to institute some changes that helped me stop spending and began to rebuild my husbands trust. Today I can say that he has full confidence in me.

A wise person knows that what they do when no one is looking is what they will eventually do when someone is. Does your spouse have confidence that you are being honest in your internet habits. Would your boss and coworkers say that they have confidence that you give a hard days work everyday and they can count on you to get your work done. Do your children know they can count on you to do the right thing when they confide in you. Does your life give others confidence that you are the person you claim to be. 

A person of wisdom knows that the true source of wisdom, God, only leads to truth and what is best for everyone around us. Choosing a good source of wisdom gives other confidence in us as well. Do you seek out God's word when you are having trouble or the latest self help book. Do you get wise counsel from godly individuals or do you listen to the latest celebrity guru.

Living a life of wisdom allows others to have confidence in us. They can believe we are speaking the truth. They can have confidence that we have their best in mind when making a decision.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wisdom in consideration

In today's world of instant gratification it is often hard to full grasp the time and work that went into the verse Proverbs 31:16 "She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard." This woman considered this field. She did not walk by it and on a whim decide to pick it up. She considered it. She got soil samples, talked with the owner to find out the history of the field. She figured out what crops would grow best on the soil. She checked out the market to find out if there was a need for the crop once it was grown. After all this considering she bought the field. She negotiated the best price and with what she had left over she planted a vineyard. She did not see the fruits of her labors for years but eventually she was rewarded with a crop she could sell to the merchants.
When was the last time that you took time to consider something. Time to think about the consequences of the purchase. Time to figure out if you were getting the best price. Time to consider if you even really needed the item. Taking time to consider before purchasing will save you a lot of buyers remorse. 
Purchases are not the only things to take time to consider. Consider how you spend your time, not so you can cram one more thing into an already busy life but to make sure that what you are doing is worth your time. Consider the people you spend time with. Are they uplifting or do you find yourself drained after being with them. Are there others that might be a better choice to spend your time with.
Taking time to consider every aspect of your life will lead to wisdom in making decisions whether it is for a purchase or how best to spend your time. Wisdom allows time for consideration.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wisdom in marriage

I recently saw an advertisement for a company who's tag line was Life is short have an affair. When I saw this I immediatly thought of the verse Proverbs 5:18" May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth." And Proverbs 6:27-29" Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? 28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? 29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished." And I thought how sad it is that we live in a society where marriage is viewed as a inconvenience and it is better to lie to your spouse and have an affair than to enjoy the pleasures your husband or wife can bring.Thinking that this will bring us happiness when it will only lead to destruction.

Now maybe you are thinking that I would never have an affair. But are there other things in your life that have stolen the affection you once had for your spouse. Maybe it is online pornography or romance novels that leave you comparing your spouse to a fictional illusion and finding your spouse comes up short. Maybe it is a television show that you would rather watch than spend time with your spouse. Maybe it is work or your to do list that steal you energy. There are many things that in and of themselves are not harmful but if they have stolen your affection from your spouse than they are a problem.

Making time to show your spouse is important to you should be a priority in your week. Picking up a small gift, spending uninterrupted time, or giving a compliment are all ways we can show our spouse that the are important and that we do rejoice in them. A wise person takes time to enjoy the spouse that God has provided for them.