Problems and Solutions
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Problems are like noses and opinions: everybody has one.
How you go about solving yours depends on your understanding of the problem.
But a lot of times, we try the wrong solutions for our problems and wonder why there seems to be no respite.
And we are left frustrated…
Look at the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4: 3-8.
They both gave offerings to God.
But for whatever reason, God accepted Abel’s but did not accept Cain’s.
That upset Cain greatly.
So, Cain had a PROBLEM: how to get God to accept his offerings.
Now, what was the SOLUTION to this?
See what the Scriptures say: “The LORD asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? You KNOW that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you but you MUST control it.”
God gave him a SOLUTION: Do what is right. Control sin.
But Cain decided to create his own SOLUTION: he killed Abel.
We all apply the wrong SOLUTIONS to our PROBLEMS at some point in our lives. And in such moments, we don’t reason right; we allow EMOTION to get the better of us.
Let us also look at the story of David and his men in 1st Samuel 30:1-18.
These men had a PROBLEM: their wives and children had been taken captive by the Amalekites.
What was the SOLUTION to this?
God told David: “Pursue them and recover all!”
They pursued them as God asked them to. And they recovered all, a God said. But that was not their first reaction to the abduction of their families by the Amalekites! Their initial reaction was to WEEP. Then they wanted to stone David. Wrong SOLUTIONS to the PROBLEM at hand…
About 2 decades ago, I was a Church Leader in Abeokuta, Ogun State Nigeria. After Service one Sunday morning, several people needed counselling from the Pastor. And like Moses did in the wilderness, he outsourced some of these cases to his Associate Pastors, one of whom was me.
So this guy sat before me and told me his PROBLEM.
I listened carefully to him and when he was done, I proffered a SOLUTION.
I told him, “Today is Sunday, sir. Let us see again on Wednesday after the Mid Week Service. But before then, please read the Book of Galatians and we will discuss more about this on Wednesday.”
He looked a bit confused. Then he asked, “The ENTIRE Book of Galatians?
I replied, “Yes, Sir.”
He said, “Ha!!!”
I asked, “Is there a PROBLEM, Sir?”
“Why don’t you just pray for me?” he asked.
I responded, “What you have is NOT a PRAYER PROBLEM, Sir. It is an IGNORANCE PROBLEM which can only be solved by KNOWLEDGE, not PRAYERS!”
Now, the Book of Galatians has just 6 Chapters. This guy could finish the entire Book in an hour! But he is not interested in the SOLUTION I proffered. Like Naaman the Syrian General in 2nd Kings Chapter 5, he had an idea on how his problem should be resolved. And that was definitely NOT reading an entire Book in the Bible!
He got up and left, unsatisfied. He went to join the Pastor’s queue. Pastor was surprised to see him!
“I asked you to see Harry”, he asked him. Didn’t you see him again?”
“I did, Pastor. He listened to me and asked me to go and read the Book of Galatians! As in, the ENTIRE Book! Can you imagine that, Pastor? He wouldn’t pray for me! But I know you will pray for me. I need prayers!
Pastor asked him, “But what if your PROBLEM is not one prayer can resolve? What if prayer is not the SOLUTION?
“Pastor, there is no PROBLEM prayer cannot resolve! Please pray for me!”
Like a lot of people, he was fixated on what he believed was the SOLUTION to his PROBLEM. Too many people are so fixated on the wrong SOLUTIONS to their PROBLEMS.
You have a headache. And rather than take Paracetamol, you decide to take Vitamin C and rub Vaseline on your head.
How in the world do you expect to get well?
Like Cain, you are just applying the wrong SOLUTION to your PROBLEM!
When we walk with God long enough, we will realize the SOLUTIONS He proffers to resolve PROBLEMS are not conventional.
You need water to drink in the wilderness? Speak to a Rock!
You need to be healed from a snake bite? Look up!
The axe head fell into the river? Throw in a stick and the axe head floated!
You want to cross a river? Divide it!
You want to go to heaven? A whirlwind comes in handy!
Here is the thing: we need to understand that God is NOT conventional in His ways. So when we have PROBLEMS and we look to Him for SOLUTIONS, never expect Him to respond with a simple, conventional one.
He sees our PROBLEMS as opportunities for Him to display His Almightiness by bringing out unconventional SOLUTIONS.
By so doing, all glory goes to Him…