On Sunday, my nephew Zach left for the Marines. Zach is my baby sister’s only son, and as many young men his age are heading off to college, Zach is leaving home to learn how to fight… and win. He is willingly putting himself in harm’s way to protect you and me from dangerous and fanatically wicked people.
While we are so proud of Zach and his desire to be one of the few and the proud, we are also highly aware of the dangerous path upon which God has called him to walk.
And so, I watch through tear filled eyes, as my baby sister says goodbye to her son. But we are not hopeless as we watch Zach take this next step; just as every Christian parent has trusted God in the past, my sister trusts God today.
It doesn’t matter if your child is a five-year-old going off to kindergarten, a newly minted driver alone in the car for the first time, a teen heading to college, or a thirty-something moving to a country half way around the world; watching your children wave goodbye hurts.
As parents we wonder what will happen to them? Have we sufficiently prepared them? Who will take care of them? Who will hold them when they are hurting? Who will dress their wounds? Who will love them like we do?
We know that because God is omnipresent, there is no where Zach will go that God is not already there. We know that because God is good, he is now and will always be at work for good in every circumstance of Zach’s life. We know that because God is all-powerful that he is the only One who can ultimately protect Zach. We know that because God is love, no one can love Zach as much or as well as God does.
However, the attribute of God that comforts me most as I hugged Zach goodbye, is the wisdom of God. God knows what is best for Zach; and he knows the best means to accomplish his perfect plan for Zach. Not only that, God knows what is best for Zach’s mom, dad, grandparents, relatives and friends; and the best means through which to accomplish his plans for each one of us.
God’s wisdom is all-encompassing. Wisdom is not simply an accumulation of facts — that is knowledge. Wisdom is knowing the best way to use and apply knowledge to bring about the desired results. God knows what he desires to accomplish, and it is good.
God’s knowledge is infinite. God’s goodness is perfect. God’s love is limitless. And, God’s wisdom is eternally flawless. The way God acts in our lives — the things he allows, orders, directs, prevents, gives or withholds — is always perfectly and wisely executed. There is great comfort in knowing God’s best for each one of us is always displayed through God’s wise ordering of our circumstances.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” — Romans 8:28-29a NIV
In God’s excellent wisdom we are being made into the image of Christ. Every heartache, every rejoicing, every goodby, every decision, every fearful circumstance, every unthinkable consequence — God is in it and God is wisely using it to make us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is wisely at work in our now as well as in our future.
God’s wisdom — his complete knowledge of what is true, coupled with his ability to judge correctly and follow the best course of action to accomplish the best results — is most clearly revealed at the cross.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but for us who are being saved, it is the power of God. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? We preach Christ crucified. Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” — 1Corinthians 1:18, 20, 23a, 24b NIV
When we have faith to trust God’s wisdom for our salvation — our eternal destiny — we can also trust God’s wisdom for the ordering of our earthly lives. There will be difficult days ahead for all of us, but knowing that God is always acting wisely in the circumstances of our lives enables us to persevere and endure.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” — Proverbs 3:5-11 NLT
Today we are trusting God to act wisely as Zach walks this new path. We are not leaning on our own understanding (especially my sister… she’s a mom… she’d be running after the bus to bring him back home!). We trust that as Zach and each one of us seeks God’s will that God will direct our paths.
This summer (2016) I have chosen to highlight an attribute of God each week in the blog posts. For the entire catalog of attributes, please click on this link: