I walked into the large grocery store and immediately berated myself for not knowing where to locate the mayonnaise. But, wait a minute. Why should I know where the mayo was? I’d never been in that supermarket before. Just because I’ve spent ample time in other grocery stores didn’t mean I knew condiments were on Aisle 5B in this Piggly Wiggly.
So I asked for help.
Why is it that we face so many dilemmas — large and small — each day without ever bothering to ask for help?
I remember the ache and weariness of seeing my college-age daughter through a difficult season when she broke her ankle and required surgery. Standing in line at the DMV for a temporary handicap parking pass, I felt alone, exhausted and out of my realm of experience. And when one of Abigail’s professors insisted she drop a class required for her degree, I had no idea where to turn for help. The weight on my shoulders felt oppressive and daunting.
When young King Solomon found himself in new territory — sitting on his beloved father’s throne — he, too, felt overwhelmed. And rather than winging it, 1 Kings 3:1-15 indicates Solomon confessed his anxieties and insecurities and asked God for wisdom.
Why did Solomon ask so earnestly for wisdom?
Solomon had four good reasons for asking God for wisdom as he took the throne of Israel. I think these are reasons we can relate to.
- Has God given you a big job? Solomon said, “O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king…” (vs. 7) Solomon hadn’t just fumbled onto the throne; he’d been placed there by a sovereign God. It was a position of authority and responsibility assigned by God. Are you a mother, a teacher, a group leader, a wife, a mentor, a business manager? God has put you in a place of influence, too.
- Do you feel out of your league? Solomon was probably a young man when he became king, but he lamented, “I am but a little child…” (vs. 7) He felt too small to fill his dad’s big shoes. His insecurities were heightened by the enormity of the responsibility. It may look like everyone around you knows what they’re doing and you alone are clueless. Don’t believe it.
- Have you never been here before? If I felt overwhelmed standing in a new grocery store hunting for mayonnaise, it only stands to reason that we’ve all felt a little distressed by our own ignorance in more crucial new situations. Solomon was in such a panic, he said, “I do not even know how to go out or come in.” (vs. 7) Sister, it’s time to stop “faking it ’til you’re making it.” There’s nothing wrong with asking for the low-down. Whether you have a new job or baby or address or last name…it’s okay to feel a little ignorant. Admit your need for information and ask God to provide.
- Are you in the middle of something bigger than you? Yep, you are. We all are. When we, like Solomon, realize that our responsibilities have eternal consequences hanging in the balance, it’s an eye-opener. Solomon said in verse 8, “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.” Solomon wasn’t just overwhelmed by the number of people he now ruled. He was sweating the eternal destiny for which God had chosen them. These were not just a numerous people; they were God’s people. And that’s God’s child you are mothering, God’s man you are married to, God’s girls you are mentoring, God’s beloveds you are nursing back to health and God’s children you are teaching.
Well, if you weren’t feeling overwhelmed before, you probably are now. You’re welcome. But seriously gals, there’s reason to feel a little out of our league. We are. Every day.
And that’s why we’ve got to stop trying to do life on our own. There’s no more glory in trying to wing it as a mom or wife or employee or church leader than there is in running up and down the unfamiliar aisles of the Pig in search of elusive condiments.
God desires for us to call out to Him for wisdom.
It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.” ~ 1 Kings 3:10
Our God loves it when we rest upon His faithfulness to instruct and provide rather than trying to figure it out on our own. In fact, He warns us not to lean on our own understanding but to trust Him to make a way instead.God blesses the girl who knows her limits and relies instead on His unlimited grace. Click To Tweet
When I try to hide my anxieties and fake it ’til I make it, I find myself feeling distanced from God. My pride makes me think I disappoint Him and that He will surely grow frustrated with my inability and ignorance. But that’s a deception constructed by the enemy.
On the other hand, when I, like Solomon, confess my anxious thoughts and insecurities, I tear down the walls built by my own pride and let Him into the private places of my soul. I feel known by Him, and I come to know Him better. As He graciously provides what I need in order to do more than I reasonably can, I am flush with gratitude and awe. Then I’m overwhelmed…not so much with my own smallness as with His greatness and love.
A prayer for the overwhelmed
Lord, this is bigger than me. In fact, this responsibility makes me feel very small and inadequate. But I don’t want my insecurities to drive me out the door. Instead, I’m asking You for wisdom so that I can do the job You’ve given me. Today I will not lean on my own understanding or experience or common sense. Neither will I just wing it! Instead I’m coming to you, searching desperately and confidently for Your wise counsel and direction. I trust You to provide the information and courage and confidence I need with each step. And I anticipate You receiving all the glory for anything I accomplish on this good day. Amen.
When Joseph was given the overwhelming task of interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he immediately turned to God for wisdom and answers. He’s a guy worth studying! You might enjoy my Bible study, Joseph – Keeping a Soft Heart in a Hard Place. You can order the books on Amazon or on my website. The optional DVDs are only available here.