“Make friends with the problems in your life.” (Sarah Young “Jesus Calling”)
I tend to look at problems with my fists clenched, trying to ‘will’ myself to get through this. ‘Just make it to the other side’, I tell myself through gritted teeth. I want my problems solved or removed. I approach them with a divide and conquer mindset. If the problem is really big, too big to climb over, I close my eyes and deny they exist. Maybe they’ll go away?
What is a godly approach to problems –
Befriend Your Problems! Tweet This
Really? The idea of ‘befriending’ problems is unthinkable. Contrary to my way of thinking. “The best way to befriend your problems is to thank me (God) for them. You can give persistent problems nicknames, helping you approach them with familiarity rather than dread (Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling”, March 5th entry).
I’ll tell you a secret about me – I love naming things!
I name each of the hummingbirds that visit our popular hummingbird feeder. This week’s birds include: Little Grey, Hunter, Jade, Big Red. I name special dinner dishes I prepare – a cook’s prerogative, right? I love naming stuff.
So, I’m all over this naming persistent problems idea. It, truly, does put a ‘face’ on a problem, it can even be a funny face if you name ‘em right. I have a chronic health issue that God is healing me of.
Perhaps, I’ll name it ‘Joe Heely’.
Joe cause it’s familiar and I do love a cup of Joe, and Heely because God’s healing me, but there is still an occasional Achilles heel pull or pain which causes me to cry out a little.
Can you think of a name for a problem you’re currently facing? Something approachable, maybe something that will make you smile instead of grit your teeth.
The second approach to problems – Give Thanks!
Not my natural go-to inclination. I prefer to whine a bit, grumble and complain to all who will listen.
Why do we give thanks?
Not….because the problem is good –
Give Thanks because God is good!
Not….because we know God will eliminate the problem–
Give Thanks because God will use the problem to eliminate unwanted gunk in my heart.
Not……because we love trials, tribulations, heartache, and loss –
Give Thanks because God’s love covers us and fills us during seasons and circumstances that defy reason.
Not….because problems leave us feeling stranded and alone –
Give Thanks because we are never alone, God is with us.
Not…..because we know the end of the story –
Give Thanks because of what we know:
- God wins
- God restores us (especially heart breaks and losses)
- God cares
- God’s presence is with us throughout every circumstance
- God brings life in places of death.
“The righteous man will have many troubles, but the Lord delivers them from them all.” Psalm 34:8
Problems will happen. The question is how will you and I respond to them?