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
My grandmother was critically ill in the hospital. Mother’s two brothers had entrusted her with decision-making for their mother, and they had all agreed that there would be no life-support systems used at the end. Day after day Grandma clung to life with Mother faithfully attending her.
Then came the day the doctor approached Mother with a suggestion. He deemed that a blood transfusion would make Grandma more comfortable, and he strongly advocated for the treatment. Exactly the quandary our mother feared. Her brothers had given her their trust, and now she had to make an awful choice: Should she allow the transfusion that might prolong Grandma’s life while violating his brothers’ wishes or should she tell the doctor “no”? Would the brothers consider a transfusion “life-support”?
In her simple, straightforward faith, Mother reasoned with the Lord. I don’t know the right decision. I don’t want to go against my brothers, and I don’t want Mother to suffer. Father, I will go with the doctor’s suggestion and ask that you be sovereign and overrule it if it’s not for the best. The medical staff proceeded with the transfusion, and my Grandma passed away shortly afterward. And my mother was at peace.
Was this God’s wisdom? Did God take a hard thing and resolve the dilemma? I’m sure Mother played out all scenarios and felt herself to be in a no-win situation, but she followed the direction of her heart and ended in a place of peace that satisfied everyone.
When we ask for wisdom in a difficult situation, do we sometimes fail to hear God’s voice because we expect something complex and profound? Think of Jesus’ resolutions throughout his ministry: No food? Use what you’ve got and feed thousands. You touched me even though the doctors didn’t help for years? Be healed. No tax money? Go fishing. You’re blind? Let me put mud in your eyes. And so on…
God is able to give us exactly what we need for every circumstance. We just have to learn to be simple and to expect him, to believe him to give us wisdom, and then to thank him for his gift.
Father, you are God, and we are not. We need you every moment of every day. Help us to be like little children and to trust you to guide us to make good decisions. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.