Roger Goodell is paid more than $34 million a year as the commissioner of the National Football League. You would think he understands the game. When he was questioned as to why Colin Kaepernick as a free agent had not been picked up by any other team, Mr. Goodell said, “I’m not a football expert.” Curious minds would like to know why he holds the position and enjoys the salary.
The press cram into the throne room. They’ve heard a special case will be presented to King Solomon. Two women silently step front and center before the King and present their case. Both women had recently given birth to newborns. The one had accidentally “overlaid” her newborn, so she secretly traded her dead newborn for the other woman’s living newborn. The squabble gets heated like a Judge Judy courtroom, “And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son” (1 Kings 3:22).
And Solomon said, “I’m not a baby expert.” Of course, he didn’t! Solomon had been given a divine resource to help him rule over the people. A few verses earlier, we see Solomon did not get all the details right, but God recognized his heart of devotion. “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father” (1 Kings 3:3). So God offers Solomon, “Ask what I shall give thee” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon asked for wisdom, but notice how Solomon asked.
Solomon’s request was humble. He recognized his limitations and he was not too prideful to honestly confess those to God. Solomon extols God’s “great kindness” because He has continued David’s dynasty by crowning him king. If we recognize how great God is and how insignificant we are, then we will ask for wisdom. If we recognize how noble a responsibility God has entrusted to us—whether leading a group spiritually, parenting your children, or running a business—if we approach the responsibility with a sober-mindedness, then we will desperately desire wisdom. If we regard as precious the lives which we influence, then we will beg for wisdom for “whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Do you desire wisdom? How much do you desire wisdom? The psalmist wrote about his desire for wisdom. Picture your desperation as you are trying to swim to the surface of the water. Your lungs are burning. You can’t hold your breath much longer. As your head breaks through the water into the atmosphere, you gasp for breath. “I opened my mouth, and panted: For I longed for thy commandments” (Psalm 119:131).
You may not be an expert on much of anything, but if you pant for wisdom like you need air, God will honor such a request