Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.
A kāhea akula ʻo Iabeza i ke Akua o ka
Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying,
He manaʻo o ke kahu
How many of us want more? Duh, yeah! That goes without saying. We all want more. But what more do we want? For the ordinary person, more means things for ourselves: a better car, a bigger house, more money. But are things the best thing to ask for? Jabez was a minor player in biblical history, having been mentioned just a few times, yet his simple prayer helps us to shape what we should ask for.
Though he wasn’t well known, we know that he was better than his brothers. “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’” – 1 Chronicles 4:9. He turns to God in prayer and sought to make a difference in this world. With boldness, he asked for God to bless him. He knew the only true source of blessings, so he went to the top. He called out to God, partly to counter his name, for Jabez meant “he causes pain,” but mostly to be able to do more.
What he sought was an “enlarged border,” which some would naturally interpret as wanting more land. But Jabez never really wanted anything for himself, it was about being able to reach more, to serve more, to do more. He knew that he would not be able to do this on his own, so he sought God’s hand to be upon him and that he would be kept from harm.
This simple prayer is for us as well. We are in a season of life that we long for blessings. Pain and sorrow are all around us. Let us call out in all earnestness to ke Akua, from whom all blessings flow. Let us recognize that through those blessings, we have an incredible opportunity to “enlarge our borders,” to go beyond where we are now, to new horizons. Same old, same old is no longer a part of our toolbox, not when we have the opportunity to create new dreams, new visions, using new means.
By being grounded in ke Akua and aloha, we can extend our borders by looking for those in need. We can raise up individuals who have the same heart and passion to do ke Akua’s bidding. We can get creative with the use of technology and easily reach more so their lives might be enriched. So much is within reach if we just look up.
While much awaits, we need to remember that we cannot do this alone. As we call out to God, and He gives us the new vision, we must keep Him by our side, that His hand will always be with us. And that no matter what happens, we might be kept free from harm. So like Jabez, let us fall with full abandon at the feet of Iesu, to receive his blessings and his vision of greater things that we can, and must do, so our lāhui might be blessed.
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