As a guy who tends to need direction when it comes to venturing into the scriptures, I often default to laid-out devotionals for my quiet times with God (I'm a pretty indecisive person). However, the daily devotionals I use are rather lazy... lumping Saturday and Sunday into one thing known as "The Weekend"... cause apparently we only have quiet time with God one of those days (Saturday? Or would it be Sunday... cause that's our "fun day"?). Anyway, all joking aside - in reality, I've been finding a lot of my time from day to day lately -- sitting at a desk, lying in bed trying to fall asleep, driving, blah blah blah -- has involved relentless ponderings where I've felt a bit restless with such musings. I've been feeling a lack of clarity in my thoughts.
So on Saturday, I defaulted to opening up the scriptures to a "random" place to just read and soak it in (a point is coming, I promise!). And I have to admit that one of my favorite books in the Bible is James. It's one of those meat n' potatoes books where you're bound to get some real good instruction and thoughts to chew on -- and a good, needed slap in the face from time to time.
I opened to James chapter 1 where I'd previously highlighted verses 2 through... something... but I'd continued reading past the yellow scribbles to verse 8. The whole passage is as follows:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. - James 1:2-8 (NIV)
I love it. The thing that hit me this time, specifically, was "the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault" - and man, I just always feel at "fault" for something. But the fact that I need to pursue petitioning for wisdom in asking perhaps why He's letting my mind be a bit overloaded lately, struck me. I'm not seeking Him enough. He may just be trying to get my attention... or patiently waiting for me to stop trying to figure things out on my own and come to Him for wisdom and guidance. To ask Him not "why" but "what" - what does He want me to learn? Or maybe he's seeing how much I can take before I truly learn to heed his call to "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." It's not easy to do... especially in such a GO - GO - GO society.
Sorry if there isn't a lot of coherence in these thoughts. After all, I am praying for clarity. :o) But I was jazzed by the passage in James and I hope some of you maybe can be encouraged -- if not by my ramblings exactly, but maybe in just the thought of knowing you're not the only one who may be feeling a little lost in the wilderness for a short time. :o)