As I studied in Proverbs 1 this morning, I discovered a beautiful truth. One that I learned by experience over this past year.
As many of you know, I have walked through 2 miscarriages in the past 2 years. Through the first I remained strong in my faith, fully grounded in the Lord.
Through the second, I stumbled. I struggled with trusting God to build my family. I was hurting and in need of the Lord, but my shaking faith kept me from seeking Him. But as I wallowed in self-pity and loneliness, God was seeking ME.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit inside of me, He was whispering the truths of His Word into my heart. Truths I had been reading for years. Truths that I had believed with child-like faith from the mountain-tops. Truths that I was now not so sure were fully true.
In spite of my doubt, He worked inside of me to reconcile my broken relationship with Him. He worked moment by moment to restore my trust in Him, and at the same time–to heal my brokenness. He loved me through the pain of loss and hopelessness. And through His love, I found strength, healing, and faith like never before.
Today as I read Proverbs 1, the story of Wisdom calling out in the streets felt much like what I experienced.
“Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares.”
Wisdom is here! We find wisdom by listening to her. Hearing her cry, and turning aside to follow her.
“Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.”
Much of our society shuns wisdom, because they bemoan her rebuke. We don’t like to hear that we are wrong. But when we hear a rebuke and turn, this is when God’s Spirit is poured out on us. Wisdom will never carry with her the encouragement that we are doing everything right. Wisdom always betters us, grows us, heals us, and perfects us. It is Wisdom that makes us flourish as God’s prized creation.
Oh that we would heed her rebuke! For without it, when we shun wisdom–we may lose the opportunity to ever find her.
“…When your distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way…”
Last summer when distress and anguish came upon me, it was my faith of “yesterday” that got me through it. The years of walking with God in the light. All of the Scripture I had meditated on in years past. The relationship I had with God leading up to my trial was constantly called to mind by the Holy Spirit’s whispering.
Hey Rachel, do you remember this verse you used to love? Do you remember how I got you through this struggle? Do you remember when you turned from that sin, and how I used it for beauty in your life? Do you remember when I set you free from that temptation? Do you remember those hours spent in your prayer closet with me? Do you remember that conversation we had in the prayer garden at Seminary? I proved myself to you then. I will prove myself again.
He taught me nothing new during that time. He simply established in my heart the truths I had so easily accepted before.
I remember all those times I had prayed, “God I believe; Help my unbelief!” Yes, those times. For years I had that prayer. And through the fire, He answered. He established my faith.
And as I read Proverbs 1 today, it seems so clear. God’s WISDOM–the Holy Spirit–calls to us in the streets. Her rebuke carries with it the promise of freedom from the bondage of sin. Her rebuke carries with it knowledge and understanding that can only be found in the Lord.
We cannot wait until trouble comes to follow her. Wisdom is built on the easy days. The days we live and make choices intentionally. During days of desperation, we will not be strong enough to build. We will instead “eat the fruit” of our own way.
If we’ve been refusing wisdom, scorning her, disdaining her, we will be filled with empty things–things that have no power to sustain us in the storm. But if we’ve been walking in wisdom, wisdom will keep us filled though the battle. When we have no strength to feed ourselves, the stored away reserves will rise up in us, ready to sustain us until we can make it back to the table.
His table is ready. Choose today to come to it and be filled. Hear the cry of wisdom in the streets. Heed her rebuke, and turn aside. Be ready to weather the storms when the day comes. Wisdom will get you through them.
“Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Today I am proof His Word is true. Today I dwell safely, without fear of evil. Yesterday, I listened and sought Him. In the storm, He sought me and held me. He kept me secure, in spite of the storm. I can never be thankful enough for the great love and wisdom that He has poured over me.