“Hold on! Hold on! Hold on!” I kept telling myself as every muscle in my body clenched to maintain grip on both my husband in front of me and the Sea-doo under me. “This is supposed to be ‘fun’? Seriously? AND THERE’S 30 MORE MINUTES OF THIS RIDE? LORD HELP ME!”
We’d signed up for a snorkeling excursion in the ocean during our holiday in Cancun. Snorkeling I love. This Sea-doo…give me a break! My husband was in his glory riding the thing at nearly full-throttle, bouncing over the waves, zigging and zagging across the wake of the Sea-doo in front of us. I was desperately trying to not fly off the back. How could waves that looked so soothing from the shore be such a menace to my rear end?
Waves can be deceiving – in their power, their size, in the undertow they create, in the debris they carry in to shore. I find it interesting that God compared doubting to the waves of the sea:
James 1:5-7 CEB
But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. Whoever asks shouldn’t hesitate. They should ask in faith, without doubting. Whoever doubts is like the surf of the sea, tossed and turned by the wind. People like that should never imagine that they will receive anything from the Lord.
I’ve read those verses hundreds of times before but recently there was an “Ah-ha!” moment as I saw things from a new perspective.
First of all – God’s character: "…Whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score." When it comes to God’s generosity, especially in regards to giving us wisdom, we don't have to jump through hoops or beg or try to convince God. He gives wisdom to everyone without even a second thought, without keeping score. Which means if we were stupid last week and FAILED to ask Him for wisdom, created a mess of things and now need wisdom for the CLEAN UP JOB – He “doesn’t keep score” and hold out on us as punishment for previous stupidity.
Secondly – I had always supposed that the "don't imagine you'll receive anything from the Lord" was God being ticked off with our doubting. That isn't the case at all. Have you seen or experienced the powerful waves of the sea? Take that image and transpose it over your inner man – your heart, mind, your soul – and you have a picture of what doubt does to your inner world. When we doubt it creates unrest in our soul. Our mind, heart, emotions, even our will, becomes unsettled, restless, tossed back and forth like the surf of the sea. Anything set on those waves would surely get tossed. Imagine if I brought a try of food and tried to serve you lunch in the waves. There's no way the food on that tray would be edible. If it would stay afloat, it would be soaked in the least, or at most completely lost in the waves.
So it is with God's wisdom. "Don't let him imagine he'll receive anything.." isn't a condemnation for doubt or God withholding because of our doubt. Our doubting creates an environment that makes it nearly impossible to receive, carry and use the wisdom God would give. We fail to receive wisdom not because GOD withholds. We fail to receive because we don't provide the proper environment for wisdom to take root in our heart and mind. God tries to speak His wisdom into our heart, into our mind but the unrest of doubt prevents us from hearing and receiving that wisdom. His words of wisdom are tossed and lost in the surf.
For us to grasp Heaven's wisdom, peace born out of confident trust in our Heavenly Father must be the carrier of His wisdom to the very depths of our being, into our understanding, into the crevices of our heart where seeds of desire lay. For wisdom to take root it must be met with peace and confident trust that God IS generous to the core, that He is for me, that the record of my wrongs has forever been cleared through the power of Christ’s payment for me. And God WILL give me the wisdom I require not based on my goodness but on His consistent generosity.