Earlier this week, I spent a considerable amount of time in prayer for wisdom and discernment. With Little Man on the way, Little Miss acting years beyond her age, and life in general, I often feel I'm floundering when it comes to figuring anything out, or having any answers. Since I have so many questions myself, I feel like more of a failure at this faith thing. I look within myself to see what feels "right", what I am capable of, and what I can muster. I never seem to make decisions the way I envision, or with as much confidence as I might have once had. Hence my prayer.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~ James 1:5
The next morning, after making Little Miss her usual breakfast, I got in the shower. From the corner of my eye and out the window, I could see lots of movement in the tree in our backyard. I could tell, without my glasses, it was a squirrel going berserk. I also saw a big whitish blob on a branch right above where the squirrel was freaking. Is that a cat? What would a cat be doing that high up in our tree? Surely not trying to capture a squirrel. I reached out to the sink counter to retrieve my glasses. There in the top of the tree, was a beautiful, huge owl. The squirrel was running laps around the tree, and at times, got right up to the owl to "sniff" it out. The owl did nothing, other than keep a watchful eye on the hyper rodent. Eventually, it tired of the squirrel's antics and flew to the pine tree behind our garage, where it stayed until nightfall.
It was a beautiful owl. I bet it was 2/3 the size of Little Miss, and would have come up to her chest in it's own height. I had to laugh to myself, though. I prayed for wisdom the night before, and God sent an owl to my back yard the next morning. Really? An owl? The international symbol of wisdom. Try to tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.
I got a few good lessons in wisdom that day, however. If I want wisdom, I have to actively seek it. It won't always be obvious. The answer might even be right in front of me, but there will be distractions running around, drawing my focus, and making it hard to see clearly. (Proverbs 17:24) What do I need to focus on? The problem? Or the answer?
Another lesson: I'm not going to find wisdom by searching within myself. I am not the wise one, and wisdom does not simply spring up from introspection. I need to lift my eyes up, depend on the Giver of wisdom, and seek His will.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121:1,2
Yet another lesson: Patience plays a big part in wisdom. (Proverbs 19:11, James 3:17) That squirrel was driving me nuts, and I thought for sure the owl was going to show it whooooo was in charge. The constant pestering and berserk behavior did nothing more than annoy the owl, though, so it flew off to a more peaceful place to spend it's time. How often do people, or circumstances, drive me completely bonkers? My reaction 98% of the time is to interject an obvious attitude of annoyance, say something, and there is usually heavy eye rolling involved on my part. I rarely display grace. I rarely display patience. I rarely think to withdraw myself from the situation to retreat to a more serene atmosphere. Had I been the owl, I would have at the very least kicked the squirrel mid-run, right off the tree. Instead, the owl went to a better location, and was undisturbed. Not only that, but it waited there until nightfall. It was especially awesome to be able to watch it all day, show Brent, and have Little Miss constantly wanting to see it, but I was reminded sometimes you need to sit and think on things rather than rush into a decision. Take your time. Hold your ground a while.
I prayed for wisdom. God sent me an owl. As much as it made me laugh, I learned more than had I just woken up the next morning, knowing all the answers. He sent me a real-life parable instead. And that....well, that's just a hoot.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:17