One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4: 9 -10). A very short account of the man called Jabez but one which is very significant. Bruce Wilkinson in his book Prayer of Jabez refers to him as the Bible's little big man. His story is found in one of the least read sections of the Bible which is made up of the genealogy of the Hebrew tribes starting from Adam but is a most powerful story. I agree with Bruce Wilkinson that there was indeed something special about Jabez that warranted mention of his story in the middle of a long list of names. This man Jabez inspires me very much.
From the story it seems like Jabez was just an ordinary in the beginning and his greatest burden was his name which prophesied over his life negatively. Jabez means pain and I am sure this was not a name that he was proud to have but this or any other circumstance did not stop him from stepping out boldly to make his requests known to God and we are told that God did grant him what he requested.
Wow, this says a lot to me. There is hope for anybody out there, no matter the situation or the circumstance. The secret is in not letting negativity or circumstances get to us. Irrespective of what we think, what others think we should be bold enough to step out and pray to our Lord pouring out our hearts. Look what He did for the man Jabez, a man who could have just accepted that he was destined to a life of pain and suffering - he could have just given up on life, but he did not. He knew there was more and he was going to go after it and he got it.
'And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you.' Isaiah 30:18. Isn't it wonderful that the Lord is longing and looking forward to being gracious to us. In my mind's eye I can see Jabez lifting up his hands towards heaven jumping and saying 'God your search is over, I am here be gracious to me'. As for me I decided that I am going to take advantage of God's graciousness, He is looking for someone to bless? Then I am that woman.
Blessed is the one whose heart is stayed on the Lord in all circumstances and who understands and knows that it is only God who determines who we are and what we become.