I worked with a guy in the 90s who often said, with a smile no less, “Problems are just opportunities.” His optimism and relentless good mood were a mystery to someone like me, who didn’t see things quite the same.
In 2011, I sit at a dining room table with head in hands and pray. There is no shortage of need: a broken heart, a husband’s hurt back at three weeks, a sick child, a moody child, a friend off to court, others struggling for joy in sorrow–a sampling of an inner circle–as I move outward, need grows in number and magnitude. We are all there, in number and magnitude.
Oh, the opportunity.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NLT)
Paul writes that his pain was to humble him. And I think back to grumbling, desert-wandering Israelites in Deuteronomy 8 and verses that changed my life: years that humble to see what was inside a heart. I crave His life-giving Word.
When I thought my own difficult season would have given way to relief by now, I still wake unsettled, cautious. A child hears me pray before homework, “God, please pour down your grace upon me. I am so greedy for it.”
“Greedy?!” she exclaims. “I love you, Mom.”
Father, more and more I see: problems are opportunities–opportunities to look for you and see your mighty hand at work daily, still. Your grace sustains me–and I reach for you, holding tight, grasping and greedy for your presence when difficulties weigh. I am so very thankful you never let go of me.