I first heard of Jabez, well over a decade ago. Before the year 2000, I didn’t know who Jabez was, or how what he said was important. He was hidden away in the book of 1 Chronicles, his name and prayer, wedged in between family genealogy. Let’s face it, the who begat who is kind of dry reading. It wasn’t until Bruce Wilkenson wrote his book, The Prayer of Jabez, that this Bible character became real to me.
So, many weeks have come and gone. Time has passed. Yet, this man’s prayer has come back to me, over and over again through the years. In the midst of family ancestors, God saw fit to mention Jabez’s prayer to Him. Jabez wasn’t anyone that would be considered special. From what I understand, he was just an ordinary kind of a guy, just living his life. But, right there in 1 Chronicles 4:10, this is what is written, “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Some people think that Jabez should not have asked God to bless him, feeling that might be a bit selfish. I disagree. Scripture clearly states that God granted Jabez’s request. Why would God have allowed this short prayer, nestled into family ancestry, if He did not think it was worth reading? Small? Yes, but powerful. I think this tells us something about Jabez, but it also tells us something about God.
God loves us. He is Sovereign and He is Just, this is most definitely true, but doesn’t He enjoy hearing His children cry out to Him? Realizing that He is indeed the One who is in control? And with understanding know that all good things come from Him?
I believe that thanking God for all the ways that He chooses to bless, every single day, is music to His ears. The more ways our eyes are opened to all the daily gifts that God gives, the more we are blessed. There are times when I slow down and make the conscious decision to write out the blessings, and thank God. God knows me, intimately. He knows that He created me with a love and appreciation for the aesthetic. When I stop and notice the Queen Anne’s lace elegantly bowing to the wind in the pasture, and thank Him for it, when I see the morning dew sparkle like a million diamonds on the field of grass, when I walk down the driveway to get the mail and go through a cloud of dozens of yellow butterflies…….He has to smile. Some would chide me and say, “God is almighty, He doesn’t care about whether you like flowers and butterflies.” I would reply, “I believe you are wrong.”
I Chronicles 16:34
I Thessalonians 5:18