"Of all human pursuits, the pursuit of wisdom is the most perfect, the most sublime, the most profitable, the most delightful."
St. Thomas Aquinas
She walks in wisdom. She is clothed with righteousness. She wears an ornament of grace. It is fastened tightly, attached to her wardrobe, adorning her with such beauty that she is honored in all her ways. And for this woman of wisdom, her ways have been all but ease. No, her paths have been filled with thorns, thistles, treacherous times, hot sands, sultry seasons, stony roads that sored her bare feet, icy meadows that chilled her bones and longed to freeze her frail heart, high mountains that called for hind's feet, low valleys she called victory.
This wise one wonders how. Yet, she grasps where. Remembers when. Knows Who. Understands what. Never asks, "Why?" For those dreaded paths taught her faith, gave her trust, made her familiar with God's providence. On those rocky roads, high mountains, and in the lonely valleys, He became her defense, comforter, healer, teacher, provider. And, God, the sovereign Lord, in those dark caverns of her life . . . became her friend.
She knows ills brought her to His throne, gave her sweet opportunity to walk with Jesus, suffer with Him, learn of Him, know Him. She ponders the strength He gave her to walk, tread, run, endure, soar, and climb. Why such privilege was given her she will never understand. Why a broken life was hers made no sense to human reason. But this wise woman knows the sweet gift of grace and the mercy of a loving God. And, she praises Him. And yearns to seek Him more. Glories in His work of grace that began so long ago.
In her now wisdom, she recalls the beginning. And it is here we shall begin our walk with her and learn her way, its dawn, noon, and evening in her life. From this wise woman we will find the lovely path we all may take. A humble walk that leads to an extraordinary faith. An extraordinary faith that leads to perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:5). A life of hope that will not disappoint in any circumstance, but brings honor for each occasion with its godly wisdom.
Humility is its beginning. The wise way is first met with a conscious awareness of our own frail, human state of helplessness, a recognition of our finite ability and God's all-ability, His totality of power, His sovereignty in our lives and in this world. Accepting Who God Is, believing His word as God-breathed, and clinging to these truths, creates in us reverence for Him, praise for the name of Jehovah. As we, in awe, wonder at Him and His deeds, we begin our path toward our priceless treasure, for Psalm 111:10 tells us that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And Proverbs 14:27 calls this fear a "fountain of life." Fear, realizing Who God Is and reverencing His holy name, leads us toward further humility and onward in faith, with unction to pursue Him and gain understanding.
With such longing for God, we yearn to know His word. With humility of heart, honor for Him, and hunger for His word, we read, we hear, we obey His truth. And we find life, for the "knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10), and the keeping of God's word is "life to your soul" (Proverbs 3:22). Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing in your life can replace the holy scriptures. They are your sustenance. The word of God, which is Jesus Christ Himself, is the sword that pierces through the layers of your heart, peeling them back, one by one, revealing your thoughts and desires, discerning all your motives, and convicting your conscious (Hebrews 4:12). And though the sword is painful to your heart, it is also the balm of Gilead, bringing healing and restoration as you understand yourself, experience brokenness, and receive Christ's forgiveness.
Allowing this process to have its complete work is a critical point on the path to wisdom. And know this: the word of God has no depth. It is fathomless. It truths are fully established. Yet, its ability to search our hearts is unceasing. We can never outgrow it. Never exhaust it. The Bible is now and forever will be your faithful companion that never fails to comfort, convict, change, and conform while on the way. The word of God in you is wisdom, living in your soul, leading you in your life, effectively working in you and through you to bring you close, draw you near, . . . and bring you nearer, . . . and nearer to the cross, to a life of brokenness, to the knowledge of a holy God, to the power of Christ's resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.
Through these precious pages of holy writ, we are all led to a satisfying well, where the waters are sweet, stirring our desire for Christ. We want to know Him. Seek Him. Run after Him. See Him. Yes, even suffer with Him. And through an intimate relationship with Jesus, we have understanding of Him, "in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3). This sweet, intimate walk, this holy communion with Jesus, this understanding of Him, satisfies our hearts and lives with wisdom. And with this wisdom, we are guided with understanding each step of our way.
And as we take each step, if we are veiled with meekness, dressed again and again with humility, we will find ourselves strengthened, refreshed, and full of grace (Proverbs 3:7 , I Peter 5:5). Such a simple spirit opens our pathway to blessing and honor, for did not Jesus say, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5)? Yes, those who surrender to Jesus, fully submitting to His will, yielding to Christ's call, will be blessed, even in their earthly lives. The wise are given to God's will. The Father is ever hearing their hearts, meeting their needs, subduing their enemies, bringing them honor, using them greatly. The will of the wise woman and the will of the Father grow to be one, and thus mighty blessings rain on her meek life.
And what more could the will of the Father be than desiring our hearts stay pure? In his eloquent verses of wisdom, Solomon warns of the destructive power of evil. All with the wise woman can be flowing with beauty and elegance. She may have found her walk, making strides through paths of pain, leaping over her high hills, sailing smoothly in stormy waters, when suddenly in front of her lies a lovely forest, enchantingly rich with flora and fauna, bold, stunning, at once, with beauty and mystery.
She knows it is a forbidden way; a fruit of deception; a force of futility; awaiting her is a well-planted snare of Satan. Devised for her defeat. The wise woman stops. Remembers. Her heart pounds. Her hands tremble. Her strength is faint. Her voice proclaims. "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). And the wood before her, with all its delicacy, she sees clearly, and it does not compare to the high hills, steep cliffs, rocky shores, chilly meadows, hot sands, and the living water and bread of life of her Creator. . . . She moves. Ahead. Pondering. Weeping. Loving the One whose own blood bought her soul. Then, for one moment, she stays. Stills. Rests. Remembers His faithfulness.
And when this wise one moves once more, her spirit rises, and within her heart, she rejoices. She walks. Her hands raise. Praises sing from her lips. Her heart soars with wings of a great eagle, and she runs, without pain, without weakness, with freedom, with faith. New faith. Whole faith. Faith that forgets what is behind. Faith that looks forward. Moves mountains. Tears down. Builds up. Perseveres. Endures. Forever hers.
And faith is forever ours. It guards us on our path to wisdom, and it is the very foundation of a wise life. As Christ lives in us powerfully with faith, we are granted wisdom,being "able to comprehend . . . what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 18-19). Faith in God is our conduit to wisdom. Through faith, our spiritual eyes are opened to the treasures of the Holy One. With faith, we are "filled" with the "fullness" of God. The Greek word for filled is pleroo, which means to cram, furnish, satisfy, finish, and the Greek term for fullness is pleroma which refers to completion. So with faith, we are completely satisfied to the point of completion. And completion, is all sufficient with wisdom and all else we need in Christ.
Christ is our satisfaction. He is our All in all. The completer of our wisdom. He is himself our path to purity, our road to righteousness, our way to wisdom, for, . . . He is wisdom. "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom, and in all your getting, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7).
Oh, dear heavenly Father, please help each one of us seek You today with all our hearts. Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, is our source and our guide. He is your provision for our wisdom. May we ever so humbly pursue a life of wisdom, cry out for it, treasure such life, incline our hearts toward it, apply its truth, and seek it diligently. Lord, have your way with each of us. May we all realize with the Apostle Paul that we have not yet apprehended, and always see our need for more of You. May each one of us lift our voice to you and pray to walk in wisdom.