Nearly a month ago a friend sent me a message. She makes it a practice to ask God for a word for a person. This particular week she had been praying for a word for me, and the word that she felt given was “increase”. She explained her prayer request to me and then told me my word.
She didn’t know what it meant. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do with it either.
I have been praying for years that our tiny church will grow, and I hope(d) that increase was an answer to that prayer. Perhaps God was letting me know that the blessing will soon come. The fields will be white with more than snow and our church will grow.
But what if it was intended as a verb instead of a noun? Perhaps God was telling me to increase something I was doing? Increase my activities at church, my audience, my time with particular people. . .?
After nearly two weeks of prayer and contemplation on my part I headed to scripture for some insight. The first “increase” scripture I came across was Genesis 1:22, “Be fruitful and increase in number.” Oh, dear Lord, please NOT THAT! I know I asked for more kids years ago, but that was YEARS ago. I’m too old for that now!
Quickly moving on, there was an “increase in wickedness” (pretty sure that wasn’t it), and “oppress the poor to increase your wealth” (another no-no), and then 1 Thessalonians 3:12: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”
That was one I could stomach, but still was it the “increase” that my friend had been given for me? Then I considered asking her to beg God for another word. Increase what or what will increase? One more word isn’t too much to ask, is it? Then I imagined God’s sense of humor trickling down from heaven with “the” and decided I better stick to increasing my love for others.
See, asking God for another word would be ungrateful for the word already given. It would be selfish and rude to ask God for more when I hadn’t even asked for anything to start with. The blessing lay in knowing that God is aware of me and my desires. He knows when I need to increase something, and he knows when I need something increased. So whatever it means, whether verb or noun, the only thing I really need to know is that God knows.