GOD KNOWS

The Lord giveth wisdom:  out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.  Proverbs 2:6

 

Any amalgam of figures beyond basic sums and arithmetic has always been challenging to me.  When my counselor told me that in order to receive my diploma for a post-graduate degree, the final course I needed to take was Advanced Multivariate Statistics, I almost froze in horror.  I protested long and hard—“This is supposed to be the easiest class I have to take.  It’s my last,” I complained.  He had guided me so deftly for years, and here at the end he was putting my high GPA (grade point average) in peril.

I would like to say Dr. Grey was sympathetic but instead, I think he rather enjoyed my plight.  He tried to ease my discomfort by saying that the professor was someone everybody loved and that I would have no trouble.  (But somewhere behind all the protest, I think a smile lurked.)  I left his office wondering how I would ever make it through that final course.

I arrived early the first day of class in order to visit with the professor that “everybody loved” only to discover that her class load hadn’t permitted her to teach the course.  Instead, I was confronted with a very young man wearing hiking shorts and boots and very new to the faculty—someone who, obviously, had to prove himself.  I really was between what we in Texas call “a rock and a hard place.”

After the first class, with material which seemed vaguely familiar, I took my text home and began studying.  AND PRAYING.  Every page was read and re-read and prayed over.  God had created systems and numbers and ways of interpreting data, so I went straight to the Source.  And I went straight to Matt.  (That’s what our new professor told us to call him.  Not Dr. Matt… but just Matt.)  Every time he had office hours, I was there learning from him.  And I prayed.

Advanced Multivariate Statistics is not the only challenge I’ve had, but I learned through that and other similar lessons that I don’t have to lean on my own understanding when I’m in God’s will—that HE gives knowledge and understanding, being all-knowing and the creator of all things.  We do our part (studying, in this case), and he gives us everything we need to follow him and to do his will.  We must never allow circumstances to defeat us.  He either provides the way through or gives us the resources to resolve them or the grace to live in them.

In everything, we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.  I AM NOT A MATHEMATICIAN, but I finished that class with an A.  Yea, God.

 

Father, thank you that you care about all our cares, even those that seem trivial to everyone else.  Strengthen our faith to trust you in all things and to stand still and to see your salvation.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

RESOLUTIONS

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…  II Peter 1:3, 4 (NIV)

 

 

With the New Year approaching, it’s time to make those requisite goals that we talk about every year and that 8% of us actually achieve.  The data is a little discouraging, isn’t it, but look at the kind of resolutions we make:  self improvement (including weight loss and education), money issues, and relationship resolutions.  However, people who set specific goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.

I’ve recently come across a book from my mother’s library and written by Frances Ridley Havergal whom you will know from her poems and hymns.   Havergal was the daughter of a cleric and lived in the mid-1800’s.  Growing up in a clergy family, Frances was well acquainted with religion, but she said that until she fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, she did not have the full blessedness of being a Christian.

From the experience of her consecration, Frances wrote the well-loved hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be.  It could well be a good beginning for this year’s resolutions:

 

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

 

Father, take us anew and afresh at the outset of this coming year and make us wholly thine.  We dedicate ourselves, our gifts, and all we are to your purposes and your glory.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.