Genesis 24:1   Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and God had blessed Abraham in every way.

So….what more could he want? Abraham had wealth, status, power and obviously favor with God.

If I were Abraham I would want a lot more:  CONTROL and ABSENCE OF PROBLEMS!

You see, Abraham, though amazingly blessed, still had a major challenge.  His son Isaac needed a wife, the right kind of woman who would be appropriate to play a major role in God’s promised plan.  So Abraham sent his oldest and most trusted servant (we never learn his name) on a long-shot mission, to persuade a suitable woman to come out in the middle of ‘nowhere’ to marry into a very strange family.

Here’s the point.  Even when we have ALL of God’s blessings, we still have to deal with problems.  Challenges/burdens are opportunities to trust God and wait with patience while praying steadfastly.  These unlikely ‘friends’ are also reminders to hold our desired ends lightly.  When faced with a problem, I usually know how I want it to work out.  My vision causes me to be anxious, because I realize that I lack the ability (control) to bring about what I want.  I chafe at this lack of assurance that my outcome will be realized.  So I regard problems as anathema and think sometimes that they should not even be, since I’m now a Child of God, a believer.

But God’s ways are not Maria’s. I think I’m getting a glimpse of how God has set up life for His children.

The only way we will continue to trust our Father is for us to be needy.  Problems are both God’s chosen means to insure on-going reliance on Him and a daily wake-up call that we are not in control.  He obviously thinks we are at risk of forgetting this fact.

Here’s what I’ve been pondering.  If God means problems to be woven into the fabric of human life, both for believers and pagans alike, then I should change how I look at them.  Yes, I know about Brother James’ ‘Pure Joy Club’ (….count it pure joy, my brothers when you meet trials of all kinds…James 1:2 ) but despite that verse and others from Paul, I still regard problems as ‘the enemy’!

Recently, however, I encountered a different way of looking at life.  And it’s tempting.  CS Lewis apparently divided the world into happy people and people who don’t LIKE to be happy.  Before reading this, I naively assumed that happy people were those with no more problems.  But maybe that species does not even exist.  If that is so, then maybe Paul was onto something when he affirmed (first paraphrasing 2 Cor 5:5 –since we have this down payment -i.e. Holy Spirit  of what is to come, ”Therefore,) we always feel cheerful, confident and courageous..…” 2 Cor 5:6a

So here’s my new prayer:  Father, enable me to remember hourly what You have done for me through my adoption and assigned inheritance and equipping me with the permanent Holy Spirit as a guarantee of what is mine.  Furthermore, so change my mind through your Holy Spirit Renovation project that just thinking of my adoption and inheritance cheers me to no end so that I take the daily problems in stride.  After all, stupid is the child of God who keeps problems to herself instead of casting them on her Father to handle.