Little purple flower - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Focus on the solution instead of the problem

Consistency is one of my biggest problems. I don’t have problems with consistency from a big-picture standpoint. Give me a vague problem to fix, and I can fix it. But when it comes to details, any consistency I have flies out the window.

We need 25 stories written for the upcoming magazine issue at my company? No sweat. Give me five days, and I can get it done. You need them proofread and copy edited to be flawless? That’s where I may have trouble. Details are difficult for me because I can get bogged down in them very easily.

Details overwhelm me. If there are five major problems staring me in the face, I might get a little stressed but it’s nothing I can’t handle. But if you throw 30 little things at me simultaneously, I will shut down.

And I think that’s what happens to me in life. As long as I can focus on the big problems, I’m okay, but the moment I start focusing on the little problems I get overwhelmed with how much there is to do and how inadequate I am to the task.

Little purple flower - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Little purple flower – Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 42:11.

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

The world is full of details. Tiny little details that if you miss just one, you can make a terrible mess. That’s just the way life is. But if you start focusing on those details, you’re liable to end up living with a very narrow-minded view of the world.

When I start focusing on all the tiny little problems I’m facing, that’s when I get discouraged. When I start focusing on the minor, petty issues that can absorb all my time and energy, that’s when I have trouble waking up in the mornings.

Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you are a detail-oriented person. Maybe it’s the details that you live for. And if that’s so, that’s great. But I bet the big picture intimidates you.

No matter whether we prefer to focus on larger problems or smaller problems, the issue remains that we all have problems. And we all usually have more than one problem we have to deal with in a day’s time. So how do we get past the point where our problems are all we can think about?

Well, it may be difficult, but instead of focusing on the problem, focus on the solution. No matter what problem you’re facing, there is a solution to it. And you can either choose to focus on how much you have left to do or you can choose to focus on how you are going to fix it.

Similarly in life, you can choose to focus on your inadequacies or all the things you’ve done wrong or all the details you’ve missed or all the mistakes you’ve made. Or you can choose to focus on the fact that God never makes mistakes and that He’s big enough to turn your screw ups into something that will glorify Him and bless you.

No, I don’t know how He’s going to do it. That’s for Him to know and for us to find out, but one thing I’ve learned is that God is both a detail person and a big-picture person. And He loves both perspectives because He’s the only Person I know who can work everything out to the best benefit of everyone involved.

So if all the details in life have you feeling down this morning, don’t focus on them. Or if the major problems in your life have you discouraged, don’t focus on them. Instead, put your hope in God. Lean on God and let Him take care of it. Do what you need to do to get through today, and God will provide an answer for you tomorrow.

That’s kind of the way He works anyway.