Right under my nose!
Written by Kerrie Newmarch
Finding help is easier than you think
Have you ever felt frustrated by how limited your knowledge or experience is? I am often confronted by my lack of wisdom in areas that are important to me. I begin to explore a topic, and yet find it difficult to put in the time and energy needed to become proficient. I’m not sure if this is part of my personality or a sign of busyness, or even laziness.
However, there is an answer! The secret is to gather help from those who are already immersed and proficient in the area you would like to grow in.
And no, I’m not talking about adding to your book collection, or going to a conference … although both may be helpful. Rather, gather help from Christian friends, family and work colleagues. I have so often found great wisdom from those nearest and dearest to me. To my shame, I often don’t admit my need, and have failed to tap into what God has put, as my mother would say, ‘right under my nose’.
Who is sitting under your nose?
So how can we go about gathering the help we need? Here's two things to remember:
- Firstly, be prayerful, asking God to reveal those already in your life that you can learn from.
- Secondly, be intentional in what you talk about when spending time with those God has given you. I have a sister in law, Karen Morris, who is a gifted evangelist. I love hearing her stories of people coming to faith, and she is keen to share tips and practical skills to encourage me in sharing the gospel (you can read some of her thoughts here).
I have also been blessed with two friends I meet with regularly, who have great wisdom concerning marriage and children. We often sit around Sarah or Joy’s kitchen table and discuss the issues that are concerning us as we raise our children. It is so refreshing to read God’s word and pray together about our families. You can read one or more of Sarah’s reflections on parenting here. Unfortunately, you can't read Joy’s thoughts and experiences of raising ‘missional disciples’, but her children are great testimony to her expertise in this area.
Keep on learning
Another lesson I've learned recently is to be a ‘life-long learner’. It is helpful to continue engaging with our world, asking questions and seeking God’s wisdom. It is such a pity when you meet someone who believes they have life 'all sorted’. Their opinions are formed (in concrete), and it is difficult to bring up a difference in opinion or explore new ideas. Work hard at listening and staying open to the thoughts of others.
Finally, be thankful. I enjoy immensely those within my circle of concern, who allow me to express ‘half- baked ideas’, and then continue exploring and discussing the topic with me. They help me grow in my thinking and understanding, and help me work through the practical applications. I recognise they truly are a gift from God and I am very thankful for each one of them
So can I suggest that you look ‘right under your nose’ and see who God has already placed in your life? May your ensuing conversations bring you growth … and glory to our loving heavenly Father, who provides so abundantly for us!