Many of you will remember Bruce Wilkinson's little book, The Prayer of Jabez, from nine or ten years ago. This is the passage from which it is taken.
Amid a long chronicle of who ruled where and who succeeded whom, we have Jabez. Lists and records are very important in the life of a nation. We remember who was president when. We think of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. We remember WWII and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We shudder to remember the assassination of JFK in Dallas. The list goes on.
But what is it that make Jabez so special that we interrupt the flow of history to record his prayer?
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. Just what does that mean? Honorable means deserving of respect or upright. But the original word kabad can also mean to bear up under adversity. The name "Jabez" means sorrow in the original. Perhaps he had sorrow as well as causing his mother sorrow during his birth.
Sometimes sorrow is used by the Lord to strengthen His people. While sorrow is not a condition to be desired, sometimes the greatest spiritual growth occurs in our times of sorrow. Then we have only Him to turn to in our grief for no one else can comfort us.
Perhaps we should learn to turn to Him every day - before the sorrow comes. That way when it does come, we will be going to a familiar place - our Father's arms.
Help us to draw closer to You on a daily basis so that when life hands us sorrow, we have the assurance of Your everlasting arms for comfort.
In Jesus' most precious name.