Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Stephen R. Covey tweeted today: The way we see the problem is the problem.
I think that is the most insightful and truest statements I have read (outside of the Bible) this week. Often times it is not the actual problem that is causing us the most grief. It is our view of the problem. My extremely intelligent husband once told me, “People’s perception is their reality.” He is a very smart man.
This is no surprise to anyone, but life is full of problems. Some are definitely bigger than others. Sometimes they come more frequently. But we will always have problems. But that really isn’t the problem.
Poor Belle. Today I was sitting at my computer when I heard a loud thud from downstairs. Usually it is followed by a little voice – boy or girl – yelling, “I’m okay.” I paused when I heard the crash, but only silence followed. No tears either. I turned back to my keyboard. A few minutes later, I look up to see this sight.
There she stood with an ice pack in one hand and a tissue in the other. Per her report, she ran into the dining room chair, bumping her head and blooding her nose in one swift motion. I’m guessing she pulled herself up, grabbed a tissue and went to the fridge for an ice pack. Then she came to me for sympathy. Of course, I gave her some. Once she felt there had been an adequate amount provided, she was off again.
Have you ever known anyone that ran into a chair – or a problem – but didn’t pull themselves up? And once they finally did, they went looking for sympathy, but enough was never provided? No matter how many people they sought it from, there just was no encouragement to be had? Worse yet, have you ever been that person seeking it? (In a whisper…) I’m sure I have.
We believe what we tell ourselves. If we tell ourselves that our problems are bigger than God, we will believe it. Sometimes we do need to grab a tissue, and maybe even an ice pack. But then don’t seek sympathy, seek God. His Word will give us exactly what we need; encouragement more than sympathy. Yes, He cares for us. He hurts with us. He is our Comforter in every affliction. But He is enough. More than enough.
His Word tells us we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). He assures us He has a plan for us, not to harm us, but to prosper us with a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He tells us He came not only to give us a life, but an abundant life (John 10:10). His Word tells us that when we believe in Him, we do not have to ever be disappointed (Romans 10:11). He assures us that when we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). And best of all, He is our Prince of Peace. He specifically told us His peace He gives us, not as the world gives. He comforts us to neither let our hearts be troubled nor to be afraid (John 14:27). He even takes away our worries, because He promises He is already taking care of tomorrow for us (Matthew 7:25-34).
But being the Gentleman He is, He lets us choose. Will we focus on the problem? Will we be a perpetual victim? Will we seek sympathies and not solutions in His Word? Or will we choose to seek Him? Will we tell ourselves we are victorious in Christ and that we can do all things through Him that strengthens us? (Philippians 4:13)
Oh, how His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30) and He is waiting for us to cast our every care on Him (Psalm 55:22). We must choose to see our problems through the lens of His Word, not our worldly lens.
Do you look at your problems through a spiritual lens or lens of the flesh?