Every year, I joyfully oblige in the silly birthday candle tradition secretly hoping, as the old wives tale goes, that if I don’t share my wish with anybody, it will come true. But, even though I don’t spill the beans on my cake-candle-tradition, my dreams often don’t come true. However, I still try making a wish again the next year. Who doesn’t want their wishes to come true?
What if God came to you during one of your birthday parties and said, “Whatever you wish for, I’ll give to you?” What would you wish for? I would probably wish for something along the lines of good health or protection—something that secured my loved ones or my own safety. Others may wish for a new car, a million dollars, to finally get married or have a baby. But rarely, will you hear a person ask for “wisdom” as the one request.
“That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’ Solomon answered God, ‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?’” 2 Chronicles 1:7-10
This request by King Solomon honored the Lord. He gave King Solomon not only wisdom but worldly wealth and blessing as well. Solomon knew that wisdom was a gift from God. He recognized it was necessary and valuable in order to be successful leader. He craved it more than wealth and desired it more than power. And God was pleased. So pleased, he blessed Solomon above and beyond.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” James 1:5.
Wisdom is the one birthday wish you can count on. According to James, if you invite God into your circumstances and ask Him to provide you with wisdom, He is faithful to grant it generously. The more you read about wisdom in scripture, the more it appears that this is a very important thing to God. He is pleased, honored, and revered when we seek wisdom. Why is this? Because seeking wisdom is seeking more of God, Himself. Proverbs 8:22-23 personifies wisdom in such a way that some may argue that Jesus, Himself, is the Wisdom of God.
“The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3
If Jesus is the Word of God, He must then also be the Wisdom of God because God’s wisdom is revealed through the Word. At the dawn of Creation, the chaos that formed into order was crafted in the divine wisdom of God Himself. When we (as both Solomon and James exemplified) ask for wisdom, we are asking for the very nature of God to be revealed in our plight. Whether we are seeking guidance on a decision, help in handling a situation, words for a challenging discussion, clarity for a future game changer or hope in a mucky ordeal, God is ready and waiting for us to ask Him for wisdom. He has provided His Word to guide with knowledge and wisdom.
God is such a gentleman. He will not impose His wisdom. He will not force it on us or give it without request. Instead He stands, patiently waiting for the righteous to call out for more of Him. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” 2 Chronicles 16:9. God is ready to benevolently share His wisdom to those who ask.
Next time you take that big breath to put out the birthday candle flame, remember there is a wish you can make that will come true. As you seek the wisdom of God, you seek more of who He is. Invite Him in, seek His guidance, and dance in His generosity. The best part is, you don’t need to wait for the birthday cake; it is a dream that can come true every day.