A Sure Shot
The Letter of James is confident that God wants to give wisdom to all who
ask—and invites us to ask for this gift confidently: “But if any of
you lacks wisdom, he should ask God . . . But he should ask in faith, not
doubting . . ..” Wisdom, that practical knowledge of how to respond
to God in the concrete circumstances of each day, is something that God really
wants to give us.
Faith, without doubting? Perhaps such confident faith brings up immediate
objections: How can I be so sure? Aren’t doubts healthy? Isn’t
faith a gift? Yet, in spite of such objections, James urges us on: “.
. . for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed
about by the wind.” James, it seems, is talking about debilitating doubts.
The tennis player who stands ready to serve, may have questions that lurk
somewhere in the back of the mind, but what places the shot in the right place
is a confidence that this will happen. The violinist raises the bow
to the string, ready to strike the first note, aware of what might go wrong,
but moving ahead, confident that the right sound will emerge. There’s
no room for debilitating doubts.
Why would God not want to give us wisdom? There’s no room for debilitating
doubts. The gift of faith flows through us, if we but call upon it and
exercise it. The Letter of James challenges us: Ask in faith!
It’s a sure shot!