The Search for Wisdom

But where can wisdom be found?

And where is the place of understanding?

Man does not know its value,

Nor is it found in the land of the living.” (Job 28:12)

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

On an ordinary Wednesday morning, a young mother prayed for the German government with this passage on her heart. She said, “sometimes we just delved too deep in our own minds. We forgot that we cannot even draw the next breath without you, that in you is all wisdom. Please forgive us, comfort us, give us the fear of the Lord.”

There was a moment of silence and then everyone in the room stood to their feet. What everyone was thinking, but no one said, was “we need you, Lord. We need you to tell us what to do about the war.” It is the one-year anniversary of the war in the Ukraine.

To the commentators and to the wise of this world, the war looks inevitable, and it seems the best thing to do is pick the option that makes your government look good. For most, that means supporting the downtrodden against the powerful.  It also seems to be the Christian thing to do. But that is not what Job does. There was no one more downtrodden than Job. But he does not insist on his rights. Having lost everything, Job declares that sometimes, in the face of chaos not having the answer is the best option. How can this be?

According to all worldly measures the situation has become more stable. Even locally. In our house, all but three of our original refugees have left the countryside for the city. On the one hand this is a good thing, since it means that their residency and integration processes are going well, and that some are earning enough income to purchase more than a single room. On the other hand the war has moved to the background and most people seem resigned to continuing it. For refugees who can afford it a new life in Germany will begin. Those who can’t, will certainly suffer an even more prolonged uncertainty and bitterness.  

In 1961 many said similar things about the Berlin Wall. People who could leave did. And many years of uncertainty and suffering followed. Soviet occupation of half of Germany was just inevitable, and could not be opposed. It was the only way to avoid enveloping Europe once again in a military conflagration. But in 1989 the world looked very different because some people prayed over many years for reunification. They prayed in the face of a world political situation that made such an outcome look impossible. They prayed for the fear of the Lord, despite unbelievable injury to personal freedom, conscience and human dignity. They prayed specifically for the church in East Germany to be strengthened and to meet God face to face.

The situation back then is not unlike the situation right now in 2023: an impossible political situation, social upheaval and a church that seems to be both deaf and blind. At Gebetshaus Augsburg we pray regularly for revival in the Russian church. For her to have real encounters with Jesus, for her to know God as Father, and for the church to be a source of strength to the Russian people. Some object that praying for the church in this way ignores the complexity of history. But just the opposite is true. Prayer illuminates history. About two weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon a friend of mine from Lithuania talked about her experience of growing up in a small third country nation that had experienced a lot of aggression from world powers and from Russia in particular. She testified that when living in Lithuania, she swore she would never pray for Russia. It took coming to Germany for her to realize how short-sighted that really was.

My own challenge to pray for a nation I didn’t particularly like or find it easy to forgive was moving to Germany. Seven years ago, when we moved here, I could also have said that I would never pray for Germany, the land of Dachau and Buchenwald. I grew up going to a Quaker school with many Jewish teachers and students. But then I met a woman named Hanna Miley. Hanna was literally one of the last children on trains leaving Germany for London during the war, called “Kindertransports.” She grew up in Great Britain and had lived in America many years before she decided she needed to understand more deeply what had happened to her parents. Her book,  A Garland for Ashes (Outskirts Press Inc., 2013) is the story of how Jesus helped her forgive the people who murdered her parents and helped her begin to pray for the Christian church that sanctioned the persecution of the Jews.

That is the essence of revival: while for many it summons up the image of stadiums filled with worshippers as it has in Asbury, it is also about being emptied of the false belief that we can get to the truth of things, or of ourselves by our own understanding. The truth of all things is only found in Jesus, and it is only through him that we can begin to heal the wounds of the past.  Hanna closes her story by talking about how God brings life out of what is truly dead. While walking near an old mill where her parents were imprisoned, she happens on the stump of a  Sycamore that is putting out a new shoot.

For there is hope for a tree,

If it be cut down, that it will sprout again,

And that its shoots will not cease.

That is my prayer for the church in Russia, for the church in the U.S., and for the church in Germany. That we would know the one who brings life out of death. That instead of following our own judgements, we would follow the scent of the water of life and put out green leaves.

Post Written by Susan Martin

Thanks for your kind support!

Your support for the blog helps keep the lights on and enables us to continue our ministry work here in Germany.


Veröffentlicht von jdavidmartin68

Pro-lifer, Charismatic Christian who has been in the 24/7 prayer movement since 2008, bass player, translator, writer, father, husband, affiliated with a variety of ministries in Europe. Note that all views, opinions and thoughts expressed here reflect my own convictions, persuasions and ideas, not necessarily those of any ministry, political organization, secret cabal or other body, club or agency to which I do, may or could have belonged or been associated.

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s

%d Bloggern gefällt das: