Have you ever noticed how much we tend to be solution-focused in most areas of our lives? No, maybe not everyone is, but I wonder if it is innate or we learn it from our parents. From the time we are little we bring them our broken toys, tangled ropes and ribbons, and sibling squabbles. We look to them to find a solution, to solve the immediate problem we have. And usually we want it handled immediately.
Solution-focusing has become so popular there is even a therapeutic model in professional counseling by that name and it can be very effective in certain cases with certain people.
This is one of the ingenious ways we tend to go about much in our lives, but I think there are some areas where we are obsessed with that because we have challenges with patience or being forced to adapt or accept something for which there is no solution, or no solution yet.
It certainly can show up in our spiritual lives as well. Our prayers are often filled with petitions that can sometimes sound like we are tugging on God’s sleeve as we might Santa in our local department store at Christmas. But does that reveal something else?
In her newly released book, Little Faith, Big God, Debbie Wilson wrote something that speaks to this:
“Too often, I’m more eager to find an answer to a problem than to experience God in my difficulty. I want a solution – now. But gnawing on my problem, like a dog on a rawhide chew, never satisfies me.
Hebrews 11:6 says God rewards those who seek him. Jesus invites us to bring our burdens to him. He wants to carry them, but he also longs to connect with us. Imagine how much closer you’d feel to someone who only called when she needed something. A real friend wants a relationship, not just an answer.”
Is God, the Father, our provision? YES.
Does He want to meet our needs? YES, but Jesus shows that there is something more than being that Santa-like being that hands things to us from our wish list.
Look at John 15:15 (TPT):
“I have never called you ‘servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants, and servants don’t always understand what the master is doing. But I call you my most intimate friends, for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.”
I would never suggest that the Lord is “common,” but He shows us in so many ways from Genesis to Revelation that He desires a relationship with us, an intimate one at that.
How have your closest relationships developed and what do they look like?
One thing I would guess is on your list is that you make time for them a priority and you feel safe enough to trust them with the deepest feelings, concerns and thoughts. You don’t desire to be with them only when you need, you just want to be with them as much as you can.
“Close relationships require investments of time, not just passing time.
Sermons and ministry activities don’t replace one-on-one time with God either. It’s important to practice his presence in daily life, but we also need regular times to personally relate to our Best Friend and bask in his company.”
As we seek to navigate through the crises in the world and our daily life, there is no question we want and are actively looking for solutions to stop the virus, to save the lives, to save the economy, to end the war, etc., etc., but these may all take longer than our average level of patience can easily accept. It is then that we are exposed for whether we are truly friends of the Lord or causal acquaintances.
Friends will snuggle into time with Him as they wait, and it is little wonder that across all media platforms we are being turned to Psalm 91. If it is not one you know well, read it in more than one translation and let it soak into your mind, heart, and spirit.
Savor the good words of the beginning of this Psalm in The Passion Translation:
“When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai
you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.
2 He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me,
the only God for me, and my great confidence.
3 He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy,
and he will protect you from false accusation
and any deadly curse.
4 His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.
You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
5 You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.
6 Don’t fear a thing!
Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you,
nor will the powers of evil launched against you.”
Psalm 91:1-6 (TPT)