July 28, 1998
What would you do if you owned a business and your customers complained continually that your parking lot was full of kids on skateboards? Most businesses put up signs. There is one at our local mall that says NO SKATEBOARDING IN THE PARKING LOT.
Signs like these make customers and shoppers happy, but what about the youngsters who like to skateboard? After meeting with his church board, a youth pastor in Florida came up with a novel solution. A local youth staged a protest demonstration about off limits signs that kept them from having fun. This pastor in Dunedin, Florida showed up and invited them to use the church lot. Thus began “Live Wire,” a program for skateboarders and their friends.
Each Tuesday, the church parking lot is open from 6:00 to 7:00 for skateboarding, skating, and pickup basketball. Then the church offers food and a short Bible study, followed by more games. Because they feel welcome, young people are attending the study and learning that Jesus loves them too.
Christians soon discover that the Holy Spirit is quite willing to give wisdom and creative solutions to all who ask Him for it. I recall one of our sons being threatened by two older and larger boys at school. I prayed for wisdom and God gave me an interesting idea.
I told my son to tell those two boys he would be in big trouble with his parents if he got into any fights. Instead, why not come over to our house and they could don boxing gloves and have it out in our garage?
Our son was puzzled. What if they came? I said, “Before you have your fight, I will serve milk and cookies.” He laughed and left for school. When he came home, he was laughing again. The boys decided they should be his friends and the conflict was over.
James 1 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
That sounds easy but there is one catch to it. James goes on: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
God gives wisdom to those who believe in Him, to those who trust that He will. We are not given the option of asking then when we get an idea, second-guess it or wonder if it is from God or if it will work. In my son’s situation, we could have let the idea “what if they come” grow into real doubt that the plan would work. Instead, we trusted that God gave the idea and since His idea’s are good, it would work. We could go ahead, placing our confidence in Him for the outcome.
God also gives practical wisdom. He knew that skateboarders need to use their skills in an appropriate place. He also knew that these young people needed to know that someone cares about them and that He also cares about them. He gave a good idea to a youth pastor who saw the problem as an opportunity to seek God’s wisdom.
Whatever the problem, our God is wise enough to give us answers. The problem may not be quickly solved, but if we trust Him, He will lead us through to an amazing resolution, one that we would not have thought of without His help.