Problems are Predictable

The problems we face are personal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t predictable.

In speaking with friends and in my own troubles, I feel this tension: “Yes, this problem is personal, and that does genuinely make it difficult. However, it’s also not a brand new issue that no one has ever faced before! There are answers.”

“Personal” because, yes, the thing that weighs on us or feels impossible is likely the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to face. Tony Howeth has a saying, “Someone else’s burden is a big deal to you because it isn’t your burden!”

“Predictable” because all problems are common to men. It might feel unexpected, but by stepping back from the situation, it could be foreseen. It might feel impossible, but there’s probably someone, somewhere, who has been through this before.

For me, this statement is all about gaining perspective and hope.

I have a friend, Jim Sizemore, who always says, “The best is yet to come.” For the Christian, that is always true. There’s always hope. There’s always something to look forward to.

When we see our problems as the end of the line and impossible to overcome, that’s a sure sign that we’ve lost hope and have probably taken things out of proportion.

The thing that you feel is going to kill you is probably not terminal. There is hope, there are answers. There is a way to successfully navigate this situation. (Being in Christ, even if it does kill us, it merely opens the door into the presence of God.)

There are people out there who can help us. We often fail to humble ourselves to be ready to seek and receive wisdom from others. And with the Lord, we simply have not because we ask not.

Adopting a defeated outlook on my problems is unhelpful. ”Things will never change, it will never be better.” I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve often wallowed in hopelessness instead of hopefully seeking answers.

And honestly, if the worst does happen, intense pain, difficulty, or affliction in this life will completely lose it’s grip the moment we stand in the presence of Jesus.

What problems have you navigated? How could you pass on help to others? All of us have been through problems that at one time felt impossible, but now we see a clear path.

I’m working on an article about problems that men face in their early twenties. If you were to look at sections of your life, what problems would you identify as common to each season (18-25? 25-30? 30s? 40s? 50s?) and how would you counsel someone to navigate them?

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