Wisdom. Something we all seek. Wisdom for a test. Wisdom to raise our children. Wisdom in our marriages and our churches and in our daily lives. We strive daily to make the right choices, to seek that which is honorable or true. We linger long over financial decisions, hoping that we are making the right choice for a new car or home.
But how does one get wisdom? How does one obtain that which is more than being intelligent or having common sense, but an ability to see the whole picture, to understand every perspective and come to a correct conclusion in regard to the situation?
Solomon had it. He asked for it. He did not want to live a long life, have unbearable amounts of wealth, the destruction of his enemies, or any other selfish desire. In fear and trembling before the Lord at a young age he asked for wisdom. He had no idea how to rule a country, how to make the tough decisions. He only knew that his father loved the Lord and asked Him to help him do the same and have discernment to rule over God’s people.
The wealth, the peace, the long life? Yes, Solomon had all that because of his wisdom. A brief history that many know includes the stories of his kingdom being built, the lavish temple he built for God, the visit from the Queen of Sheba, and his many wives and concubines.
There is one small notion that many overlook, something I overlooked until recently when it jumped from the page: the answer to how Solomon gained such wisdom. It was not a magic wand or a bushel of knowledge that entered into his head. Yes, God gave him wisdom, but He gave him something more, an “and” that solves the mystery.
“And largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.”
God gave Solomon love, bigger than what could be numbered.
Sand is not a single layer of particles that lines up in a perfect line along the seashore. Literally billions of particles deep and wide stretch out, covering the seashore, swelling with the ebb and flow of the tide and the waves crashing in, mounding here and dipping there and always and forever growing and changing as more sand comes from the sea and the sea washes some away. It is in the very bottom of the shore, next to the rock underground and on top, basking in the warmth of the sun.
Solomon had a love that stretched out across his kingdom, that covered his people. From his servants to the common person to his many wives, it is said that Solomon loved. Like sand that clings to the skin and clothes of every person that touches it, so did Solomon’s love. It is said that others who visited marveled at how even his servants were happy and affected by being in his presence and hearing his wisdom everyday.
Love comes before wisdom. Solomon sought God in his early years and if Solomon loved God and God is love and God gave Solomon a large heart then the wisdom comes in seeking God Who is Love and seeking love itself to find wisdom.
James tell us, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
Wisdom from above sounds a lot like the fruit of the Spirit. It sounds a lot like the definition of love.
If one has love then there is wisdom in being compassionate and understanding.
If one has love there is wisdom to hold the tongue and speak only kind words that help, not tear down.
If one has love there is a lack of selfish desires and money is well spent and others are helped.
Love brings forth wisdom to serve in a marriage, to work out the problems with respect. When love is lost, what happens to that marriage?
Love brings forth wisdom to care for a child, to answer the hard questions, to get up at night when a child is sick and know how to soothe and comfort.
Love brings forth wisdom to “lead a child in the way he or she will go so that when they are old they will not depart from it.”
A swelling of love. Love like the sand on a seashore. Love from above that brings forth wisdom. Love that covers my family and they can’t help but take a little with them everywhere they go and they are happy to be in my presence to hear the wisdom and love I speak over them. This is what I want, this is the wisdom I seek through seeking love and the God of Love and He Who is Love in me.
I read it over, like a beautiful line of poetry in the midst of facts and history and an empire being built. Largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.
Not some sand or one seashore or anything else measurable. The sand on the seashore.
All of it. Enough to cover a country and then some. What could love like that do in my family, in my life? What would people take from me when they leave my home or work? God’s love in me like sand on the seashore, spreading out and covering all who I meet?
The thought puts me face down on the ground and an uttered prayer escapes my lips as the magnitude of the impact I can have for Him with His love and wisdom sinks in. The possibilities of lives changed, of my life changed, if I just seek Him and love. All the times I have prayed for guidance and wanted a quick solution or answer and now I see the answer always lies in love.
Love is patient. I pray and am patient for the answer, even when it is not the one I want.
Love is kind. That person I struggle with, who no matter what seems to be having a bad day and wants to give you a rain cloud? Treat them kindly.
Love does not envy. Seeing others get things they worked for should bring about happiness for them, not jealousy.
Love does not boast. Love speaks for itself through actions.
Love is not rude. Even when the children have hit that last nerve or just do not seem to be listening that day? Love bites the tongue.
Or rejoice in sin. Love is not glad to see others or the self sin.
Love bears all, believes all, hopes all, endures all, and never fails.
Never fails. There will always be love for God is Love.
In love is wisdom. Seek love, find wisdom. Spread it to others like the sand on the seashore.
They will take some with them.