one of those days
I was just getting ready to rush out the door with my kids when I checked my phone and saw a little red notification pop up, letting me know I had a new Facebook message. While the kiddos put their shoes on, I opened it to find a note from a friend, asking for ideas for spending time in the Word in a season with itty bitty ones. Earlier that day, I had received a text from a friend asking for advice on helping a baby sleep. Now, being a mama to four little ones, I am asked for advice every once in a while from ladies who are just beginning their motherhood journey, but it had never happened twice in one day. And, ironically, that day was certainly not one of my finest days in motherhood history.
My husband, Judah, had been gone all week on a business trip, and I had reached the end of myself. I was exhausted and irritable from being up every night with multiple kiddos, and I knew they were feeling it, too. There were far more squabbles and meltdowns than normal, and I was at a complete loss to know how to handle the waves of conflict and overflowing emotions that just kept coming.
By the time lunch rolled around, I called Judah, sobbing (along with three of my children) and completely overwhelmed, not knowing how I was going to make it through the rest of the day. Needless to say, I was not feeling at all qualified to give advice on motherhood. But as I talked with my dear, patient husband, he gently reminded me that God was with me—that He would give me wisdom, patience, grace, and strength, just as He had so many times before when I had sought Him in countless other moments of utter helplessness.
As I pondered Judah’s words and spent some time praying, it dawned on me that I did actually have what I needed to offer advice to these mama friends of mine. Not because I had all the answers, but because I knew how to point them back to the One who does. Yes, I shared some things that have worked for us, but it was so sweet to know that whether or not my advice worked for them, they had an infinite source of wisdom available to them in God, just as I did. And all we had to do was seek Him to find it.
truth to cling to
In Scripture, we see so many principles on how to live a life of obedience to the Lord—principles like, “Love one another” (John 13:34), “Honor your father and mother” (Matthew 19:19), “Show hospitality” (Romans 12:13), “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), and many others.
Sometimes God gives us specific ways in which these principles are to be lived out, but they aren’t always straightforward—sometimes living them out looks different from situation to situation and person to person. I’ve had many moments when I had absolutely no idea what the next step was supposed to look like, whether in motherhood, in wifehood, in friendships, in managing my home, or a vast array of other areas. And I’ve been learning that this is where God’s supernatural wisdom comes into daily life. To quote my husband, “Wisdom is rightly applying scriptural principles and knowledge to life situations.”
What the Lord has so graciously been revealing to me on ever-deepening levels is that He doesn’t simply want us to look at Scripture as a “how-to” guide for a moral life, but to see it as a tool for knowing and loving Him. In God’s infinite wisdom, He has designed His Word to be something we need to come back to over and over again as we pursue a life of joyful obedience to our Savior. And the more we go to Scripture to know Him, the more we will understand both our need for His Spirit to live in a way that glorifies Him, as well as His readiness to give us the wisdom we need for every single moment life holds.
Proverbs 2:1–9 says, “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.”
our ways, his ways
God has His wisdom ready and waiting for us for every single moment. But to find it, we need to actively pursue it, search for it, and go back to the Source if it. But how often do we “search for it as for hidden treasures,” as it says above? Oh, I have been guilty too often of depending on my own limited reserve of knowledge rather than turning to the vast treasure trove of God’s wisdom for how to handle all of life. And the result of turning to my own wisdom is only discouragement and frustration. But when I choose to seek God—to ask Him in prayer for wisdom and search His Word for those precious truth treasures—I see His goodness, faithfulness, and love demonstrated firsthand in supernatural ways in everything from potty training to healing fractured relationships when I act on that wisdom He gives.
Sometimes God’s wisdom doesn't seem to make sense to our natural way of reasoning. It’s in these moments we need to remind ourselves that God’s ways are so much higher than our own (Isaiah 55:9), and that following the Designer of the universe is far better than following our own finite minds.
Several years ago my husband and I adopted James 1:5 as one of our core verses as a couple and as individuals. It says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” We were young, both in ministry, had two little ones at the time, and were definitely feeling the need for wisdom beyond ourselves to do what God had put before us. Then God so graciously brought us to this verse, and the promise of it stood out to us like a huge red “X” marking the spot to unfathomable spiritual riches in Christ Jesus. And all we had to do was ask Him for it, and not doubt that He would give us this wisdom when we did ask (James 1:6). Not once have we seen Him go back on that promise.
Whatever you might be facing today, dear sister, remember: God has not left you to live a life of obedience to Him without giving you what you need to do it. He wants you to run to Him in every situation you face in which you feel helpless, inadequate, and weak—and He will provide everything you need for life and godliness by His Spirit that dwells within you (2 Peter 1:3). This is the beauty of the gospel lived out in everyday life, and He desires to display that beauty in the life of each and every one of His redeemed children.
Heather Cofer is a wife and mother with a passion for encouraging others to love Jesus with all their hearts. This comes through writing, leading worship, and being actively involved in life-on-life discipleship alongside her husband, Judah, who is one of the pastors at their church. She is a regular contributor for the ministry of Set Apart Girl, and you can follow along on Heather’s journey through her Instagram or Facebook.