God’s guidance, His wisdom, His advice are free to the asking: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Jas 1:5, NKJV).
Just how can we access that wisdom? How can we clearly see where God is guiding us? This four-part series will explore, through two real-life experiences, some practical ways that we can access God’s guidance.
My oldest son’s engineering program requires five internships, known in his program as “co-ops.” Ever since he began this particular university program, the #1 stressor in our home has been for him to find these co-op placements.
The first co-op was to be the summer of 2012. We prayed about this, begging God to give him a co-op, but nothing happened. Only after the last possible day to find a co-op had already passed, did he find a summer job at a local stable.
Thanks, Lord, but why didn’t You provide him with a job that would count towards his university credits?
Two months later, when I was scheduled for emergency cancer surgery, I understood: If my son had found a co-op, he would have been living far from home. I needed him to be home through my surgery.
Though that situation, God made His wisdom known to us through circumstance. My son didn’t get a co-op!
The second co-op term was scheduled for the winter of 2013, and the stress again mounted. I was reading through the book of Acts at the time, and as I prayed and pleaded with God, I was impressed to open to open my Bible to the story of Paul and the shipwreck. I was especially impressed to focus on the end of the story–how none of the people aboard the ship were killed. Some swam to shore while others floated to shore on pieces of wood from the wreckage of the ship. Through the story God was telling me my son would be one who floated to shore on wood, and I understood: he would, indeed, get a co-op, but it would not be a conventional one, and it wouldn’t be until the very last minute.
That should have been enough for me, but when the semester ended without a hint of a co-op in sight, I began to worry that I hadn’t heard God right. As I was praying one day, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was not taking a stand in faith. “Father,” I said, “if he truly will get a co-op, give me peace of heart!” Instantly I was flooded with peace.
After two more weeks without even the slightest possibility of a co-op, my son received a call from his co-op advisor. Imagine our surprise when we learned that he could have counted his summer job as a trail guide as an engineering co-op! Why? Because he had actually spent part of the summer assisting with deck and fence construction! Of course it was too late now, but the story of the shipwreck came back to my mind. Was this what God meant when He said my son would be saved at the last minute by floating on a piece of wood? That his co-op would be “unconventional?”
I didn’t know, but I decided to hold on in faith, for after all, hadn’t God just spoken to me through His Word? Hadn’t He given me reassurance with His peace? Though I didn’t understand the clear application of His message, I knew He had something in the works, and I decided to leave it all in His hands.
Please join us next week for Hearing God’s Voice of Wisdom, Part 1B to discover God’s response –And to see more examples of how we can access God’s wisdom through His Word!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Hearing God’s Voice of Wisdom” mini-series, please click here.)