Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 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. 1 Chronicles 4:8-9
A pregnant pause. There is always something to note in a pregnant pause. In 1 Chronicles 4:8-9, we find such a pause. In the midst of sharing the roll call of the family tree of Israel, God pauses to point out a person of significance. This is no small thing. After all, this is not God’s typical modus operandi – He is making an important point – a point we would do well to consider.
In Jabez we discover a man whose life journey began in pain. Pain was the banner written over his life from birth; but pain was not to be his destiny. For instead of accepting his plight in life, he determined to discover God’s plan. He didn’t settle for the ordinary when he could experience the power and blessing of an extraordinary God.
As a result of his faith in God, Jabez surrendered his life and sought the heart and will of God for his life. He wanted God’s best instead of the least and leftovers. He was not willing to live contently with what he could achieve in his own ingenuity and ability – he wanted more. He wanted the God- more! So he did the only thing he could do to experience God’s best. He abandoned himself completely to the glory and will of God. We discover this in his short, yet amazing prayer. And as a result, he has been distinctly remembered in the pages of Scripture not for what he did but for what he prayed – and for how God responded to his earnest prayer. I wonder… would your prayer life be the distinction of your life or the extinction of your life? Is your life defined by your pursuit of God or your pursuits of gods?
The prayer Jabez lifted to the Father was simple: (1) Will You BLESS me so that my life will count for eternity; (2) Will You ENLARGE me so that I can live outside my comfort zone for a greater reach for Your glory; (3) Will You WALK with me so that I might experience Your guidance, Your power, and Your provision; and (4) Will You PROTECT me so that my life can accomplish everything according to Your will.
And God did! Thank God for those life lessons that occur in the midst of a pregnant pause. IT Matters!