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Michel: We should seek the steadying hand of God

I enjoy watching the television show Shark Tank where people with business ideas appear before millionaires hoping for an investment. My favorite part of the show is when I hear someone’s story of how they went from humble beginnings to overwhelming success.

There’s a success story in the Bible that has been the subject of books and sermons, and it’s found in 1 Chronicles 4:9,10. It begins, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.” How did Jabez, whose name refers to the sorrow and pain his mother experienced, end up with an honored status in his family? How did he to go from pain to gain?

The answer is in the next verse, “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.”

Out of his pain, Jabez didn’t turn to his family or friends. He is remembered for his prayer to God. He cried out for blessings and for territory. He asked for not less, but more responsibility, more opportunity and more influence.

Jabez also asked for the hand of God to be with him and keep him from harm, for personal protection and security as well as freedom from pain. Whenever I would teach a child to ride a bike or roller skate, the phrase I heard most often was, “Don’t let go.” Jabez prayed for the steadying hand of God to lead him through any circumstance.

Of the millions of prayers God could have preserved in the Bible, He chose Jabez’s. May his prayer inspire ours.

Ronny Michel can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.