I started a blog ‘mini-series’ addressing wise sayings, cool nuggets, & good stuff that I’ve picked up along the way. (You know. Like from paying attention while living.:) Wrote a bit about this last week HERE. Check it out if you’re interested.) FWIW, this one is also a “Jerry Cook” special.
STUFF #2 – YOU DON’T NEED TO ASK GOD FOR SOMETHING HE’S ALREADY GIVEN TO YOU; INSTEAD, JUST THANK HIM FOR IT.
In 2010, I was selected to serve on one of our denomination’s governing bodies; one of the main responsibilities was to help choose the candidates for our denomination’s president. There were lots of unknowns & I was nervous – & so I decided to ask a couple people to pray for me during my time on the committee. To make it easier, I even put together a ‘bullet point’ list of prayer requests & things I was sure that I needed. WISDOM. I especially asked for wisdom for each & every new situation I’d be tackling. Sent it out to a handful of people & got a few responses encouraging me & letting me know that they would, indeed, be praying for me.
And then I heard from Jerry.
(Let me just preface his reply by saying how much I loved how he would say/write things in a way that were full of humor, insight, & truth… even the things that were teaching or correcting moments. Even (especially?) when it was a pointed correction, you felt good getting it from him because you just KNEW the spirit in which it was offered up.)
Jerry wrote: “Nope. I’m not going to be praying for you for wisdom. And here’s why: you ALREADY HAVE IT. According to God’s Word & the promises He gives us, you already have wisdom. You’ve got so much wisdom, you’re FULL of it. So, instead of asking God to give you what He’s already given to you, THANK Him for it. And then go forward in your meetings, into every situation knowing that you have God’s wisdom & the mind of Christ.”
My initial reaction was, “He said NO? He wouldn’t pray for me?” Then after reading & rereading the note, my disbelief turned to laughter… & I got what he was saying. Later on when we had some time to talk in person, I asked him about the situation & he elaborated a bit more. He kindly shared his own “take” & “approach” to dealing with the responsibilities in front of him… & the vast majority of the time, he said he just “filled his mouth with praise & thanksgiving for the every spiritual blessing given to him by God in Christ…” And then he “acted like he HAD it already. Because God said he did.”
That interaction continues to shape me & my life in so many ways… just about every week there’s at least one instance where I catch myself starting to pray, to ask God about something… & it turns to a “Thank you for giving me this, in Christ Jesus.” I don’t see it as wishful thinking or a ‘fake it til you make it’ type of situation. Instead, I see it as repentant thinking or as intentionally aligning my own thoughts & ways with God’s… & trusting that He’ll direct my steps, my thoughts, my words, my choices. And if I still don’t know what to do or say, after all that, I reflect on STUFF #1 – IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR SAY, LIMIT YOUR ACTIONS &/OR YOUR WORDS.