Asking for the right thing 

1 Kings 3:8-10 – “And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.”

These are the verses where Solomon asks for wisdom. And in doing so, he gets so much more. 

Have you ever been plugging away through your day and BAM! Brick wall out of nowhere! You get some news and all the plans that you had made are suddenly on the ground in shambles and your not sure how to pick them up and make sense of them. 

So you do the only thing you know to do – you pray. But what do you pray for? Do you pray for God to fix the situation or do you ask for Him to help you know what to do? Yes – on both accounts. 

I know that God is perfectly capable of making my problems disappear. I know that He can miraculously change minds and create situations that work things out. I’ve seen Him do that. 

But I also know that He is able to give me the understanding to figure things out in His will. I know that this path may take longer and require more prayer and more patience and more work, but this is often the path that changes my life and causes me to learn. It is the time when I am pruned and prepared for the next chapter of my life. It is never easy or fun but necessary and God-glorifying. 

What I wanted you to see in these verses is that Solomon did not ask for God to fix all the problems he was facing and would be facing. He didn’t ask God to slay all his enemies that he had or would have. He didn’t ask for a life of luxury and ease. He asked for “an understanding heart” to “discern between good and bad”. 

We don’t always need God to fix all our problems, but we do need God to give us the know-how to solve the problems we do have and will have. Sometimes we do need to God to make it all go away. But more often than not, we need God to give us wisdom and understanding to get through whatever problem we face. 

So, when that brick wall comes out of nowhere and you find yourself with a whole lot of yuck, remember Who you have on your side and what He is capable of – wisdom and understanding. For with these comes peace of heart and joy in knowing that you are following after Him. 


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