(Written by: Misty Smith)
Remember those “word problems” in math when we were kids? I used to hate getting those. It was typically right after finishing a long page of number equations. The bottom of the page usually read “Problem Solving,” and a paragraph followed. The word problems didn’t follow the same rules as the number problems. The number ones were clear cut; If you did A and B it would result in C. But the word problems were atypical and required critical thinking. They made me so frustrated! I think they frustrated a lot of people. When you saw “Problem Solving” at the bottom of the page, you knew to brace yourself. It wasn’t going to be easy.
I’d like for life to be more like those number problems–clear cut, following a pattern, with a predictable result. But more often than not, life is more like a word problem–hard, messy, unpredictable, requiring a lot of work. Kids are definitely like word problems. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, you need to tweak what you’re doing to get a better result.
Recently, Pastor Rufus said something that really stuck with me. He said, “If God has already solved your greatest problem, he can surely solve your most recent problem.”
God has already solved our greatest problem, the problem of sin, with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Whatever we’re dealing with now pales in comparison to that. He has already got a solution in store. Our God is mighty to save!
The Psalms are filled with cries for help, for God to solve people’s problems. In Psalm 18, David recounts how God delivered him from the hands of his enemies and Saul.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before him, even to his ears.” Psalm 18:6
Our cries for help go even to God’s very ears. He hears our voices. He is attentive to us, as a loving Father would be. He looks on us with compassion. When I read this verse, I get a visual of Jesus gently bending down to listen to a small child. He is captivated by the beauty and wonder of the child. He cares deeply about her and what she has to say. She has all of His attention. And He is going to do whatever He can to help.
“For you will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18: 28
“For you have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” Psalm 18:39
“Great deliverance He gives to his king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore.” Psalm 18:50
Whether it be light for the darkness, strength for the battle, or deliverance from an oppressive situation, God knows exactly what we need to solve our problem. It may not always be what WE think we need, but He is always with us and He is always working. No problem is too hard for Him, no situation too complicated, no person too exasperating. He responds to us in patience and love, because He IS those things. He fights for us, because He is a mighty warrior!
Here’s a word problem that’s worth solving:
If God is love, and his children are facing a big problem then:
A. He will listen.
B. He will send Truth.
C. He will empathize.
D. He will give us His strength.
E. All of the above.
The answer is E. I am thankful for our God who has solved our biggest problem and is working with us and for us to solve our most recent one.