At some point in school, I remember learning long division in math. In math, long division is a method used for dividing large numbers into groups or parts. Long division helps in breaking the division problem into a sequence of easier steps. Just like all division problems, a large number, which is the dividend, is divided by another number, which is called the divisor, to give a result called the quotient and sometimes a remainder.
Upon seeing the problem, you know that there will be several steps to come to a final answer. Now in today’s world, we can easily find the answer to such a math problem by simply using a calculator or asking Siri or Google for the answer. These programs will do the work for us and just leave us with the answer. Just like that, the problem is solved.
Life is full of problems. However, answers are not always easy to come by. Problems can be complex, painful, and difficult to find an answer. We can struggle to find a resolution to the problem. All of us have experienced those times where sleepless nights are followed by uneasy days where we are not certain how things might turn out. These can be fearful times. Sometimes in fear, we retreat from the problem, deny that exists, or try to change the subject. Problems do not go away. M. Scott Peck was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author who wrote the book The Road Less Traveled. Peck once wrote, “Problems must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”
To grow as individuals and as people we have to face our issues and problems or we end up stuck in the same place and never move forward. These problems take thought, time, and deliberate action. And as people of faith, we must face our problems in light of God’s love and presence. Oswald Chambers in his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, writes “All worry is caused by calculating without God.” When we leave God out of the problems in our lives we will never come to a complete answer. We might have an answer, but it will always end up not bringing us the resolution we desire.
Facing our problems requires faith and fortitude. Prayer must always be accompanied by an action to help create the end result that God desires for our lives. Prayer and action require hard work on our part. And when we are faithful to this calling, God will guide us to the answer that we need regardless of how long it takes. And God’s answer will always be the best answer for our lives. As the apostle Paul would remind us in scripture, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) God has a purpose for our lives and God is the answer for all.