I have discovered the reason for the hope that I have: the solution is in the problem.
I believe this because time and again I have found it so. Call it trial and error, scientific experiment, pig-headedness, but don’t call it coincidence. I don’t believe it is. When I face forward into issues and problems and difficulties, when I delve and inquire and go toe to toe, I find a way in. Oh, I may not wrap it all up nicely and move onto the next thing. But once inside the issue, I see it differently. And I see what needs doing, or perhaps addressing.
It’s kind of like when you begin a hike along a trail. You may know it’s a marked trail. Others have traveled it before you. They’ve “blazed” the trail. (I learned this morning in my Upper Room magazine that “blazes” are the bright colored spots on the trees that serve as markers.) But when you stand outside the forest in the bright sunlight, you can’t see the blazes. Not until you step into the shadows of the trees, and even then, not until you make your way along the trail, do you see the markings. One and then the next and the next and the next.
I believe God has painted these solutions into all problems. All issues. He has blazed a trail through Christ that can be known to us by the Spirit’s prompting. I believe there is a God-intended solution to global warming. To poverty. To disease. To hunger. To war. A trail to follow that has been laid down in the problem. The Creator placed it there for us to find.
If this is so then surely He has blazed a trail in the issues of our lives. A way to handle our credit debt. A way to resolve the unkind communication in our homes. A way to manage job demands. A way to send our kids to college. It is all there for the finding. The key is entering in. Avoiding these issues, sweeping them under the rug or pretending they don’t exist, allows them to grow and become even more imposing. Often without our even recognizing we are avoiding them.
We tell ourselves, “I’ll just stay here where I know I’m safe.” Or, “I don’t see an answer to that. I’ll wait until I know the perfect approach.” Or, “There’s no solution to that, look at how others have failed.” Or, “That’s too big for someone like me.” And yet, the problem is before us.
If it has been posed to us, set on our path, then it is ours to face. If we trust that the solution is already in the problem waiting for us to discover it, we have hope when we venture in. We need not rush in, for rushing in often leaves me rushing past, but enter, we must. Because inside, before us, are the blazes. One by one. There is challenge enough in bushwhacking to each, but I believe God uses even the prickers and the scrapes and the turned ankles and the bug bites (or worse) to sharper our senses.
Hugging that tree, we breathe deeply in a moment of safety and then realize we can see the next blaze. God says, rest in me, but don’t stay. We may look back at the path that brought us there and, for a moment, consider tracking back. But if we give thanks for the provision that brought us this far might we trust that the way will be made for us to the next marker?
What a sight it will be when we emerge from this forest and look back at the woods dotted with blazes. How easy the path will seem then. But for now, it’s blaze by blaze, created by a Divine Paintbrush. He traveled it first, when there was no path.
Created a garden, but humankind has opted for jungle, so He set it ablaze with His Light.