One of my sons struggles with organization, like me.  So much so that I once joked, “I have a lot of admirable qualities…why couldn’t he have inherited one of those from his mother instead of my messy streak?”    

The other son is so super efficient in how he approaches life, I sometimes wonder how he came from my loins.  If I hadn’t been there myself, I might have doubted his provenance!  

Witticisms aside, it’s often painful to take out the magnifying glass and apply it to my own character defects.  And yet if I want to change, it’s useful to analyze how I want to change.

“Free me from evil so that I will not be in pain!”

“Free me from evil so that I will not be in pain,” an ancient pleaded with his Maker.  The scribe who jotted down those words also noted, “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.”  If I read between the lines, a life of examination can equal a life of greater effectiveness, and therefore greater honor.  

But it doesn’t always feel good to form new habits.  

But it doesn’t always feel good to form new habits.  It takes extra time.  It’s not streamlined.  It’s not easy.  It doesn’t go with the flow. There is often no wind in our sails.  

What to do?  Just put one foot in front of the other.  

Do it again.  

And again.  

But don’t forget to look up - literally and figuratively! A skyward glance gives us great perspective.  When you turned your life over to God, you turned it over to a Way-maker.   He can make your paths straight.    

Indeed, your Higher Power can do more than that.  Jabez, who name means “pain”, found out his cries were not in vain. At the end of his short mention in the ancient writings we learn that God "gave him what he prayed for.”  

He can grant your request to make a way, too.  And perhaps, just perhaps, there may be more honor at the end of that path than you ever expected.


*Jabez’s short mention in the Scriptures is found in I Chronicles 4 verses nine and ten. The above quotes are from the Names of God version. 
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