1 Chronicles 2:9-55;
1 Chronicles 4:1-23;
1 Samuel 1:1-8
Have you ever worked very hard on a project or an idea? You work hard, you invest time and energy. You even get to the point that you are pegging your hopes and dreams on that project. Well that happened to me 7 years ago.
In 2003 I was finishing my Masters of Business Administration. As a part of the program I worked with a partner to create a business plan. We had to make a marketing plan, a financial plan, a business plan etc. My partner, Francesca – from Milan, and I worked for over 12 weeks on the project and developed a plan of over 85 pages. We went with my idea.
My idea (remember, this was in 2003) was to create a company called Tech Drs. It was to be a company to offer PC technical support to home users and small businesses. We had a catchy marketing idea to play on the idea of a doctor making house calls. I was so excited about the project that I even made a trip out west to visit people who knew people who were looking for unique investment opportunities. I was poking around thinking I could get venture capital to get the company started. Two things held me back.
The first thing that held me back was the fact that I had a wife and two kids and I was not willing to make a big gamble on our lives.
The second reason was Best Buy had just signed a deal with a little Minneapolis PC support company called Geek Squad. They were a group of PC support people dedicated to the supporting Home and Small office users. They had stolen my idea or I had stolen theirs. Either way, the plan became an example of an opportunity lost. My idea was no longer original or creative. It was destined to just become a somewhat interesting introduction to a blog post.
So what that all that have to do with today’s reading? Especially since today’s reading feels like doing a simple household chore. Kind of like taking out the garbage, it has to be done, not much thinking to it. Just do it – get through the genealogies. My intent was to find something to write about in this list of people and places. I was hoping to find one unique sentence about one unique person. I was going to make some revelation about how amongst all these people this one person will be remembered for 3000 years. Wouldn’t it be great if in our lives we could do something for God that others would know about 3000 years later?
So I picked the following verses:
I Chronicles 4:9 – 10 (NLT) 9 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. 10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
I got very excited – I found my verses smack dab in the middle of a genealogy. I decided I would write about that guy Jabez’s prayer. I would write something like this:
Jabez was known to be more honorable than any of his brothers, he was a praying man of God.
Jabez prayed for:
- He asked for God to bless him.
- He asked for God to expand his responsibility and opportunity.
- He asked God to be with him in all that he did.
- He asked for God’s protection through good times and painful ones.
And God granted his request!
I was going to talk about how a simple faith and belief in the power of a wonderful God was all that Jabez needed and that it should be a lesson for us today.
I was so proud of blog post plan. I really thought I was a biblical whiz kid. Where do I look for the publisher that was going to put my great thoughts into print for the world to see?
Just before I started to type it all down, I thought I would do a quick search on the Internet to see if others had anything to say on this unknown, hidden man of faith. What did I find?
Some other guy, 10 years ago, did not just write a blog post about Jabez, he wrote a best seller that is still # 53 on Amazon’s Religion/Spirituality list of best sellers.
Ok, so my post about Jabez is not so original, but the truth and insight to Jabez’s prayer is still good for you and I today. Oh how I wish I could pray with the faith of Jabez.