We all have stuff in our lives that we could easily define as problems. Go ahead, insert yours here! The car breaks down. The roof is leaky and it’s been raining since Tuesday. Your dog… well, you know what dogs do to the carpet! You get it, problems.
Then, there are some things in our lives that we think are problems, but in actuality, they are facts which create problems.
Okay, okay… stay with me. This will make sense and it can really make a difference in your life.
If it is a problem, our inclination is to fix it — solve it, right? Save the money to fix the car. Repair the roof. Make the dog wear diapers.
Problems demand solutions. Problems can change.
If you trip down the stairs, tumble and fall, as you pick yourself up and dust off your pride, you wouldn’t say, “Wow, I have a gravity problem!”
That would be silly, right? You would never say that. Gravity isn’t a problem, it is a fact. Falling is the problem!
I used to treat my blindness as a problem that I needed to fix, but it isn’t fixable. It is a fact. Trying to fix a fact will never work, it will only lead to more frustration.
Accepting reality, however, brings peace.
When you determine the difference, then you can…
1. Accept the facts.
A fact is something that you cannot change. It is permanent or fixed, like gravity or, in my case, blindness.
The reality is that I am blind — I didn’t choose it, I can’t change it. Until there is a treatment or healing, it is just a fact.
There are some things in your life that you can’t change either. You wish you could, but you just can’t. It may be a physical condition or another person’s choices. Accepting what you cannot change is the first step to living free from the constant soul fatigue that comes from treating every hard thing as a problem.
Just because we accept a fact doesn’t mean we like it or condone it. It just means we have a mature understanding and perspective of the hard things in our lives. Accepting the unchangeables also helps us acknowledge the problems that tag along with them.
2. Acknowledge the problems.
There are usually some problems that accompany facts. The fact of gravity brings with it the problem of falling, right?
The fact of blindness brings with it problems of frustration, injury, limitation, and fear.
Think about that hard thing you deal with — what are some of the problems you struggle with because of that fact?
Problems hurt, don’t they? But, you can find wisdom and strength from the Lord — you can trust that the problems can be dealt with, fixed, managed and sometimes even avoided or changed.
In other words, you can identify solutions.
3. Identify a solution.
We work with and work around facts. We work on problems. We find solutions to help change what we can.
Since gravity is a fact and falling is a problem, some solutions may be holding the handrail, slowing down, and wearing sensible shoes!
Frustration, fear — those problems that come with blindness — I can work on those. I reduce my frustration by planning ahead and giving myself extra time to finish tasks. I manage the problem of fear through prayer and memorizing Scripture. You get the idea… solutions!
Today is your day to name the facts and accept them. Acknowledge the problems and find one solution to help you handle them. You are smart enough, creative enough and strong enough to do this! I promise!
(If you need help sorting this out, a professional counselor may be a great solution.)
I am cheering you on!!
P.S. If you need more encouragement, check out 4 Psalms to Pray When You Need God’s Help.
Let’s pray for each other! In the comments below, name the fact of life you’re going to accept, and a solution to help the problems it causes.