Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - James 1:5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

What a great promise! Since we have already memorized James 1:2-4, why not continue on with the next verse? I don't know about you, but I seem to need wisdom from above on a day to day basis. Isn't it good to know that God does not upbraid us when we go to Him for wisdom? He gives to us generously. He is good.

As a child, I can remember asking my kindergarten teacher for help. She had handed me a big broom and told me to sweep the floor. I just couldn't seem to get a "handle" on holding that big broom so I asked her for help. The reply came, "What? Do you mean to tell me that you do not know how to use a broom at your age? So now I have to take out time to show you?"

Wow! I cannot tell you how humiliated, embarrassed, stupid and inadequate that made me feel as a little girl. It wasn't that I didn't want to help - I really did. That's why I asked. After she berated me so in front of all the other children, I never asked her again for help. In fact, her reaction to my request for help set for me the tone I had with all my other teachers for the majority of my school years. I was terrified to ask any of them for help from that time on. As a result, after I missed weeks of second grade because of rheumatic fever, I fell behind and never caught up because I wasn't about to ask for help. My grades suffered because of it.

It wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I had a teacher that changed my mindset. Mr. Apple, my English teacher, was so accommodating. He went out of his way to build confidence in his students. I will always remember how he greeted me in the hallway whenever we met, "Good morning, Sharon! How is my favorite student today?" Now you know (and I knew even at the time) that Mr. Apple greeted all of his students that way. But I still felt so special, as if I really was his favorite. We all did, even the tough trouble-making boys that attended his class. He knew when I needed help and did not hesitate to guide and teach me.

The reason I love writing today is because two people so positively influenced me at that time of my life. Mr. Apple, of course, taught me the mechanics of writing and built great confidence in me. My dad also, at this time, greatly encouraged me. I wanted to drop out of Mr. Apple's class in the first few weeks because I saw he was different and knew that he would hold me accountable. Having felt so stupid since kindergarten, that really frightened me! But my dad would not give me permission to transfer to a different class. He kept telling me that I could and would do the work. He was right!

Mr. Apple was my teacher in senior English also and I was thrilled to have him in my life for another year. Looking back now, it is clear why I thrived so in his classes. He gave generously of himself without reproach. When I asked for help he was attentive, happy that I asked, and the wisdom that he imparted, whether that was for English mechanics or for maintaining a disciplined homework schedule, was given from a heart of liberality and kindness.

Oh, that we would realize that God's giving is so much bigger than even the best that any kind human being can offer. He will never reprimand us for our asking of Him. He gives of Himself when He gives us wisdom. And He will give it generously from His great heart of beneficence and love. Let us ask and ask and ask again. How delighted He is to give and how our adoration for Him intensifies when we see it!

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