“Problems, problems,” a man remarked recently. “How I would like to be rid of them.” At times, all of us have echoed this feeling. We struggle along, year after year, hoping that our problems will soon be over, but they do not disappear. They merely change.
The problems can be in our family, our neighborhood, our church, our country, or in ourselves. The problems can be a drought drying up our crops, or a flood, a killing frost, or a burning, scorching sun. “The good old days” sound good only because we have forgotten what the problems of those times were. Childhood, youth, middle age, and old age all have their problems, as does every era of history.
Problems are a part of life in a fallen world, and they are a necessary part of it, necessary to our testing and to our growth. Be sure of this: when you solve one problem, you create a new situation which has problems of its own. Problems are in part a product of sin and in part a condition of growth.
Before the Fall, no doubt Adam had decisions to make in Eden, as he farmed that paradise, and problems connected with developing and tending it. There was yet no curse, and hence no perversity to the situation, but there were problems to be resolved.
We need to accept problems and testing as a condition of life. Even in Eden, apart from the problems of farming, Adam and Eve were every day put to the test. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil could be bypassed or not. God presented them always with the problem of faith and obedience.
Solve one problem, and you will have another. This is life, and to be sick of problems is to be sick of life. Because this is God’s world, every problem has its answer, and with every answer we graduate to another problem, until we finally pass on into God’s eternal Kingdom and our reward.
Problems are thus not only aspects of a fallen world, as well as aspects of a growing world, but they are also opportunities sent from God, to test us, to enable us to grow, and to further us in the fulfillment of our calling.
No man can avoid problems. The man who tries to avoid problems only creates greater ones. If we regard them as opportunities, we are the stronger for it.
Taken from A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Volume 1, pp. 138-1399.
Originally from California Farmer 240:7 (Apr. 6, 1974)