Oh, in the Back 9 of life, God smiles at me daily and even chuckles! I know He does because He can read my mind and know my thoughts! So He may be the only one smiling…….and it is between the two of us, but I find a “great comfort and intimacy,” especially when I know God is saying, “Out of the mouths of babes!” and then laughs!
Yes, I had that moment last year with our oldest, Brew-Daddy, one of many nicknames Bill and I have for our oldest, especially when profound things come out of his mouth. While living in DC last year, he came home for a visit. We were sitting by the fire and, after giving me just a few minutes of his ear, he simply said to me, “Mom, that is not a real problem. You are 51. You don’t have to run marathons like me to be in shape!” LOL……..He was spot on! He brought to the forefront….I was creating a problem in my mind that wasn’t really a problem.
We can all, especially me, create a problem in our minds that sometimes just simply isn’t a problem. The fabricated problems usually center on a reality that is not changing such as your age, the death of a loved one, a chronic illness or the ending of a relationship. Incorporating someone, even a mature young adult, to be the gauge on the reality of a situation can be extremely helpful.
No one keeps the needle on the gauge of reality where it needs to be all the time. A second pair of eyes on the gauge can help determine if there is a real problem or if it is a situation that needs to be accepted and adjusted to, with appropriate and needed grief. Giving it time and then, yes, moving on. It seems those who experience death get stuck and struggle to find God’s peace and rest which could enable them to continue life in a new normal. I am not an authority on this, not at all! But I have witnessed others taking the appropriate steps in horrific circumstances and finding the miraculous, while not instantaneous, road to recovery and life!
Job faced horrific circumstances. Listen to Job 3:25-26, “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” But we find in Psalm 29:11that God gives strength and peace to His people. “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!”
Brew-Daddy simply pointed out to me that I was not 25 and, in reality, I was not going to run marathons again. I needed to accept it, embrace it, and simply move on. Find a way to enjoy life and exercise without being 25. Enjoy being 51! (lighten up MOM! duh!!) I smiled and God smiled and that was that!! It really wasn’t a problem, just an adjustment to reality! Can’t stop that thing called age!
What if it had remained a problem in my mind? That kind of stuff can lead us all to “insanity!” Don’t do it. Examine and ask yourself the all important question, “Is this a problem or simply a situation that I need to let go of, adapt to, grieve over and move on?” At some point sadness can set in, and that is ok…it is the first step to reality…. and getting to a different “happy place!” It is a choice!
If the answer to your question is, “Yes! I have a problem.” Then state the problem to yourself as simply as you can. Next, decide the degree of seriousness of the problem…this helps you know the time and energy you will need to put into it. Some of us are known worriers and some of us minimize things too much (avoidance). Neither extreme is healthy. If you have the desire to solve a problem you are experiencing, that is great news. Desire breeds action that leads to solutions.
What’s next? Ask yourself, “What do I want? If this problem gets solved, what do I want the end result to be?” That takes you into a positive mindset. Pray….seek God….oftentimes with my own problems…..when I run to God….that is where I see HIM clearly and closely…He is there waiting….maybe not with a quick fix….but TRUE DESIRE…AND TRUE SEEKING……..God will be there!!! HE will!!! HE does not lie! Remember, He is with us in the midst of the storms.
I love what noted Christian psychologist John Townsend says about this, “If you only think about the problem and never about your desires, you are constantly playing defense in life, not offense!” He also states, “Life isn’t fundamentally about solving problems. Life is about God, relationships, and purpose. Solving problems gets the speed bumps out of the way so that you can live the life God wants for you!” Amen and Amen…….and AMEN!!!
Thus far we have fleshed out together the first three steps in problem solving: emotions, right relationships, and clarity. Step four involves addressing Fear!! I have heard it said, “Fear is an acronym in the English language for “false evidence appearing real.” I would say it is one of Satan’s great strategies to use his bullets and arrows of fear!
Engage your problems today with a system, a desire to see resolution, and a plan….ending in VICTORY!!!
May Proverbs 2:9-11 be true for all of us. “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,”