Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Can A Little Child Like Me"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 11:33-36 – Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)
Recently, Caroline called me on her drive to the shops, to say that the car was making a scraping sound. We have breakdown insurance, but because it was local, I wanted to make sure that I could remedy the situation before invoking their help. It would be quicker for me to help, and I could reassure Caroline.
On the way over, I prayed for peace of mind for Caroline and myself, and also for wisdom. As I prayed, I soon felt more peaceful, and yet, I was still buzzing in anticipation when a thought seeped into mind: it was probably a stone stuck in the brake discs.
Rather than work on the car at the side of the road, I guessed that my thought was true, and since it was only a few miles to home, it was probably safer to get home at a slow speed. I found the cause of the scraping noise: a stone stuck up against the disc pad, which fell onto the floor as I jiggled the disc. It seemed that the car was now okay.
As is common with me, I find that I can be too quick to congratulate myself before giving praise to Jesus. In this case, experience led me to diagnose and remedy what was wrong with the car. I was relieved and thought Brownie points for me, having saved us from the time, money, and trauma.
On the test drive, a thought bubbled up: did I not ask for wisdom from God? Did I not get a word in my consciousness to let me know where to look for the problem? Yes, true, I have a lifetime of experience with mending cars and driving them. However, I should not be so quick to take the credit for what I now recognize was an answer to prayer, regardless of how it came into being.
Many times during the day, we ask God to help us in various ways — at least, I do anyway. When God has granted our petition, in the relief and busyness, we carry on self-assured in our own strength.
In the Old Testament, we find that the Israelites were just the same: feckless and fickle. Without leadership, they soon fell into bad ways, all too willing to ignore God's input into their lives.
All our gifts, skills, and abilities come from God. All good things come from Him. That does not mean that we should take them for granted without due praise and thanks.
So, with me today, give thanks for answers to prayers, small and large.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your influence in our lives, in our consciousness, where we can hear from You and share in the everyday, whether sometimes we recognize it or not. Lord, forgive us for our weakness of thinking that we know best, for without Your input, we are lost. You care about our situations, and we ask You, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to influence us for the good. Jesus, we rejoice that You set us free from sin, and we humbly ask You to go with us into the day ahead. Amen.