Pace of Grace, Part 2

Author - Keyshawn Parkman
One of my favorite studies we’re doing right now is an in depth Bible study on James 1: 1-15. It’s teaching me how to slow down when it comes to Bible studies. Most of the material we’re learning about as far as tools to approach this scripture I’m already familiar with, but I’m enjoying being able to get a deeper understanding when it comes to the art of observing a text when it comes to scripture, and then moving on to interpretations and finally personal applications. My mother—being an English teacher at heart— used to take my ELA learning to the next level from time to time when I was growing up. She’d print out these stories, typically 10-15 pages long, and have me read them. The reading would be followed by a series of questions, typically anywhere from 35-50, on the story. As annoying as they were they gave me a better understanding about how to observe and interpret not only a story in a packet, but also different situations in life.

Interesting enough, there’s a few verses in James 1 that sticks out to me the most, it says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 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. These verses have always been an encouragement to me simply because we can ask God for wisdom at anytime. I believe that this verse about wisdom is strongly tied to the first few verses of the chapter when it speaks to trials and tribulations. As I try to consult Gods wisdom for almost every occasion of my life, earlier on I sought his wisdom the most when I was faced with trials. During the particular trial which I mentioned in my last blog, God was teaching me about walking at his pace. I had been blessed with a beautiful opportunity to do sales and travel from coast to coast meeting hundreds of people. But as a 20 year old who was working just outside of downtown Los Angeles, I got caught up in a fast paced life and my priority of seeking God fell through quickly.
It was a little after I came back home to Texas that my prospects flew out the window and my commissions died out. I found myself in my bed with only one thing to do; seek God. In the moment I was confused about everything that had been happening because it was him who clearly called me to do what I was doing, so I came to him with high emotions seeking wisdom about my situation. By his grace alone that crash allowed me to slow down and listen to the sound of his voice and what he was trying to teach me during this season. Me slowing down and seeking his counsel was what I learned from this season and what I take with me into each and every season. I’ve learned that if God is calling me somewhere he desires to do things with me, if he’s called me to something there’s something that I need to depend on him for or else I won’t be able to produce fruit. I’ve learned that slowing down and seeking his wisdom will not only allow me to approach any situation better, but it also keeps God as my priority and my foundation.
My biggest takeaway and my greatest confidence comes from being able to seek God for wisdom. I’m grateful that if I inquire of him he’ll speak, in more ways then one. This situation has only been the foundation as I’ve encountered many trials since then where I’ve desperately needed the wide counsel of God. I’ve learned that when God throws us into situations we need to have the humility to know we can’t tackle this by ourselves, and I’m grateful that by his love for me he’s handcrafting situations in my life to lead me closer to him.
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