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When It's Broken

'Human wisdom sometimes sees the immediate cause of a problem but it does not see the root, which is always can see plainly that man does not get along with man, but it does not see that the real cause is that man does not get along with God. Human wisdom cannot see because it will not see. As long as it looks on God's wisdom as foolishness, its own wisdom will be foolish. In other words, human wisdom itself is a basic part of the problem.' John MacArthur, 1 Corinthians

I am very blessed to have an amazingly patient husband called Steve. The fact that Steve married me proves that God is still in the miracle business and that he does have a sense of humor.

Steve and I are very different, let me put it like this, we are on a long haul flight and so we get those little plastic trays full of plastic wrapped food, along with a plastic drink and plastic cutlery all of which need to be unwrapped and neatly balanced on a tray the size of American Vogue. When we finish eating, Steve's tray is spotless, all the plastic waste neatly stacked and easily handed to the air hostess who gives him a grateful smile that says 'thanks for making my day easier'.

On the other hand, my tray looks like a scaled down tornado that even hardened newsman would run away from and it is reasonably likely that I cannot find a few of the plastic things I am meant to hand over as they are now on the floor ready to frighten an unsuspecting passenger. The air hostess is not impressed and gazes sympathetically at my long suffering husband who grins sheepishly.

Recently, we went to France to camp in our enormous trailer tent - a fabulous contraption that is big enough to hold the five of us but which requires a degree in engineering to assemble. Guess how good I am at that? At one point Steve found me hammering a steel joint that I could not move, with a large mallet. That was my solution to my engineering problem, although, as he (patiently) pointed out it is probably not the best long term solution to batter a moving metal part to within an inch of its life.

So here's what I have learned. Things work better if you learn how they work. If they are not working there is a very good reason why not. This applies to little things like how to make metal objects do what they were meant to do and big things like relationships and world peace. If it isn't working the best way to fix it is to go back to the beginning and work out why.

The word wisdom is mentioned 222 times in the Bible. Both the books of Proverbs and Psalms are choc-a-block full of strong encouragement that we should seek to obtain and to increase in wisdom. Here are some of the things that the Bible says that wisdom is responsible for:

Building and establishing a house. Preserving life. Safety and a clear path. Better to own than gold or silver. Giver of patience and glory. Like that of an angel of God. What Soloman asked God for rather than wealth, riches and honor. A shelter. Power. Brightening a man's face. Accompanying the Spirit of the Lord.

Sound good to you? There are many more references to choose from, so we can see that wisdom is a big deal to God. He wants us to be near Him through the ups and downs and unfathomables of life. He wants us safe and on the right track. Human wisdom cannot see because it will not see - that's the cause of the problem. Now we know how to fix it.