When I ask my family the question, “What would you like for dinner?” and the answer is, “Oh, not chicken but it really doesn’t matter!” This response is really not helpful to me. I am looking for some clarity but all I get is vague! Or, if I am planning a special occasion and I ask, “Where would you like to go?” and the answer is, “Oh, it doesn’t matter. You pick!”…………I can get so frustrated…..I have to stop myself from saying, “Duh…..if I wanted to pick, I wouldn’t ask you!”
Clarity is a good thing. God is a God of order and He does not desire for anyone to live in a state of confusion or grey area. Our tendency, when a problem arises, is to obsess, camp out, pick apart and analyze, or whine about it for too long. Defining where a problem starts and where it ends can be very helpful. Also, rating the degree of the problem as mild, moderate or severe provides valuable information.
Mild–flat tire, need to lose a couple of pounds, etc.
Moderate–child having a bad mid-term grade, didn’t get the counted on raise, didn’t make the baseball team or cheerleading squad, etc.
Severe–marriage issues, death, illness, child on drugs, etc.
It is easy to allow problems to magnify and take over our lives, redefining every healthy area…..simple steps of clarity and definition….are essential in working toward solving problems.
Psalm 46:10, “…Be still, and know that I am God…”
Taking the time to get quiet and think through a problem in terms of measurement and gaining perspective brings a form of peace. God can bring peace in literal storms as described in Mark 4:39, “And he [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” But God also desires to bring peace in the midst (notice this is in the storm, not after) of the figurative “storms” or “problems” in life.
Certainly when the problem is “severe” there may be a season of intense focus while resolving the problem and that can redefine your life for a period of time. Type 1 Diabetes did that for me and Thomas and our entire family…..But thank goodness….I knew enough about the process in solving or addressing problems and I was able to find peace in the midst of the storm. Utilizing the seven steps we are now looking at together in this journal brought order, focus, clarity, peace and direction. It didn’t take away the pain or sadness, but it MOVED me and our family forward to a solution.
Placing parameters on problems lets you know where a problem starts and where it ends. For me, I had two other children, a husband and many other things going on in our lives. A “chronic illness” could not take over every aspect or permeate every area of our lives. It may have changed how we did certain things. We all had to adapt but, we defined diabetes in our lives; we didn’t let it define us!!
Yes, we can let problems become “dictators” of areas in our lives where they should have NO control……so be careful…..You really want to integrate solutions into your normal life rather than let the problem redefine your life. DO NOT LET PROBLEMS DERAIL EVERYTHING ELSE THAT MATTERS TO YOU!
Establishing parameters on problems also brings patience and diligence. It puts you into the “GIT-R-DONE MODE!” We must understand the definition of delayed gratification. If I do the right thing every day, even though I don’t see the results immediately, I trust the results will come. Deciding:
I will love people.
I will reconnect.
I will take action.
I will take responsibility.
I will admit when I make a mistake. But I will find comfort and peace in knowing that, in time, I will reap a harvest. (the sowing and reaping principle!) As an adult I have come to absolutely know that I cannot respond as a child who stomps their feet demanding resolution. Some problems will not be resolved on my time frame……as an adult…..grasping the sowing and reaping…..daily putting in the investment to solve problems…..not demanding instant gratification…..has been an area God has redefined in the last decade of my life! Embracing delayed gratification in solving a problem is God’s great use of time in my life and yours to melt away the insignificant and replace it with the significant. It is a time of real character growth and so WORTH THE TIME!
We will take a little more time tomorrow to continue our look at gaining clarity.….There is much to ponder on this topic, especially if you have several problems that need clarity from the Lord.
We each have either just solved a problem or we are getting ready to have a new one today. Learning to establish order and clarity in dealing with problems brings patience, peace, and progress!!!
Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”