The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. Luke 4:14–15
Two powerful quotes circle in my mind this morning as I read these texts…
“What do you have that you weren’t given?”
“You can’t pour out what you don’t have.”
These quotes, both spoken to me by friends (but originating elsewhere), combined with the Scriptures this morning, draw me back to a fundamental truth in my life…
In the depths of my heart, there is a river of strength flowing that will never let me fail – and that river’s source is NOT internal…it is external. I picture myself rooted by the river that flows from the throne in Revelation 22:2.
Any wisdom I’ve gained…is from God showing up in powerful ways to bring me through moments I would have never endured on my own.
Any understanding I’ve gained…is from God weaving my story together with so many talented and grounded people. I have learned from them, and with them, in ways that brought me to this moment. And the beautiful truth is that that dynamic will continue until I draw my final breath. Even yet today, I will learn something from someone God places in my path…and I will end this day with more understanding than when I awoke. This makes me approach today, and every day, as an opportunity to receive from God whatever gifts are in store.
As I look back on the years of ministry I have already enjoyed, I can say without reservation that every single deep moment was Spirit-fueled. The beautiful things didn’t happen because of my talent or skill – they happened because the Spirit was at work and I got to be present for it, and involved with it. Those are the moments that make ministry a joy.
So, as this day begins, my prayer is that we approach it as an opportunity to receive, and an opportunity to participate. First, may God open us to receive wisdom from the experiences of this day, and understanding from the Scriptures and the people we’ll be bound to today. Second, may God give us the courage to participate fully in the day – to engage with the easy and the difficult moments, trusting that the Spirit is already there, and the river of grace flows to us as well.
God, thank you for the ways you show up, and the ways you invite us to participate in your Love for the world. Today, open us to receive your wisdom, your understanding, and your Spirit. Remind us that we do not have to lean on our own gifts, but that you will breathe life into our talents for the sake of those around us. Ground us. Humble us. And help us to see you walking with us every step of the way. Amen.