Despite what we see on Instagram, we’ve all got troubles. Daily we face problems at home, work, among our relationships and even within ourselves. Depending on the problem, you might seek help from a doctor, lawyer, psychologist, lifestyle coach or massage therapist.
It’s part of our neurobiology to either ignore issues or fight against them. Both approaches can take a toll. It’s exhausting to always be fighting against something that we perceive to be wrong or in need of fixing. Yet, carrying the mental bag into which we’ve stuffed all that we can’t face makes it impossible to move through life attuned to the present moment. If we can take a moment to disengage from automatic responses, we can try a third option: Befriending our problems. It’s simple, but not always easy.
“And we know that for all those who love a God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Experiment with making friends with your problems. Devotional writer Sarah Young outlines a few ways to do this in her book, Jesus Calling:
- Thank God for them. It’s tempting to blame him, but resist that attitude.
- Name particularly persistent problems. This act, says Young, “help(s) you approach them with familiarity rather than dread.” You can turn a difficulty that seems like a devouring tiger into a mewing kitten.
- Introduce them to God. Sure, God knows it all already; however, we need to recite them, mentioning specific details.
Let your troubles be the gifts in disguise that they are. See them as a short cut to wisdom and peace (because you can be at peace in the midst of very trying circumstances), so that you can be even more of the wonderful person you are meant to be!