“I will do what you have asked. I give you a wise and discerning heart…”
1 Kings 3:12
I can still recall hearing for the first time as a little girl the story of young King Solomon and his request for Wisdom. ‘Course now we can all ask for Wisdom and in fact we have been instructed to do so by the Apostle Paul as he implored the young Timothy and James to do as well.
“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.” James 1:5
What strikes me now as an adult woman reading the first account of this story in 1 Kings, though, is something even more revealing about our Father in Heaven’s nature. When he asks Solomon what he wants from him, the young king describes to him the attributes of wisdom but he has not yet called it such. He seeks understanding and knowledge and calls them rightly by name. The Lord could have left it there, and just given him knowledge and understanding, but that is not how our Father is. He is loving and intimate and alive in our daily coming and going. The Lord rightly recognizes what the young king desires most is actually more than understanding and knowledge. What he desires most is something infinitely more, something the king has not language for yet, something called Wisdom.
It would be easy to overlook this small chronicle of words. After all, by 2 Chronicles when this story is repeated, the writer has rightly named the object of the King’s request as “wisdom and knowledge,” but isn’t that how it goes with life? We too quickly forget what it is to be in the unknown and on the verge of knowing. We take for granted the wisdom of others who can put our requests, thoughts and feelings into language we can understand and we stumble around foolishly, seeking something we believe is our completion when in fact, it is lacking in the fullness.
How wonderful it is that we have a Father in Heaven who does not let us stumble around looking for the right words to define us, but instead loves us as we are and forever calls us forth into the fullness of who we are to become, giving us every good gift along the way to meet us with success.
This is the essence of wisdom: To desire that which we do not understand with confidence we will acquire all that we have yet to know.
Let us ask for this kindly spirit in measure most generously!
Until the Day Dawns and the Shadows Flee,