In Job, when he is giving one of his many replies to one of his “friends,” Job says “Wisdom is found with the elderly and understanding comes with long life” (Job 12:12). This phrase from Job telling us that wisdom comes with age is what
often always comes to mind when I think of wisdom. It was with this definition I first began to doubt my decision to sit down with this newest couple.
Jonathan and Ashlee Tomes are not all that much older than I. They’ve actually been married only a year longer than Wade and I have been married. When I sat back and realized that fact, worry set in. Marriage is so tenuous and fragile. How or why should I devote time to a couple who’s been married for just under 15 years? Have they really been married long enough to teach me or help me derive something I can share with others through writing? Was I choosing to sit down with them based on a God felt direction or an Erica felt direction?
Then, I kept reading in Job.
A few verses later, after Job had responded to Zophar, he responds to Bildad. Job devotes many verses to describing just what wisdom is. He tells us that we cannot know its value (Job 28:13) and God understands the way to wisdom (Job 28:23). He ends this lovely hymn to wisdom by saying “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”
That second time, when he devotes an entire hymn to wisdom, we see what true wisdom is about. While the fear of the Lord and the ability to turn from evil often come with age, age in and of itself does not develop wisdom. Jonathan and Ashlee have a healthy fear of the Lord and do turn from evil. So, there’s wisdom there….right?
I still was not convinced.
Call me Doubting Thomas I suppose.
Still yet, I kept reading in Job.
By verse 32, young Elihu has listened to all of these men drone on back and forth and back and forth debating wisdom and justification in front of God. Elihu finally spoke up saying, “ I am young in years, while you are old; therefore, I was timid and afraid to tell you what I know. I thought that age should speak, and maturity should teach wisdom. But it is the spirit in a person – the breath from the Almighty – that gives anyone understanding. It is not only the old who are wise…” (Job 32: 6-8).
By this point, I stopped resisting God’s direction.
Okay, God! I get the point now. I felt my will surrender when reading that section of scripture.
Wisdom and understanding are not only for the old. Jonathan and Ashlee may not have been married 40 or 50 years at this point, but their spirit — collective spirit and individual spirits — and the indwelling of the Lord within them and their marriage are the bits of wisdom I desire to learn from and share with others.
It was with this renewed understanding I went into Jonathan and Ashlee’s house just this afternoon. It was with this outlook I sat on their love seat across from them and listened to them share their hearts and marriage with me. And, let me tell you, the Almighty has definitely breathed into this marriage. I so look forward to sharing how the Lord has blessed them, how they bless one another, and how they, in turn, have blessed me. Until then….