Problems are an altar
Jason Nelson

Even in a perfect world, there was a problem.

prob·lem (prŏbʹləm) n. 1. A question to be considered, solved, or answered (thefreedictionary.com).

“The Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16,17).

Adam and Eve were brand-new people in paradise, and God gave them a perfect opportunity.

It wasn’t a trick. It was an invitation to worship him by obeying him, and he equipped them to do it. He gave them freedom to choose because that makes people happy. But we know how that ended. A lot changed after the deceiver slithered in, the blaming stopped, and the door to paradise was sealed for a time.

One thing hasn’t changed. God allows problems in our lives for the same reason. They are personalized altars that invite us to submit to his will and bless his name. Veterans of faith confront problems by overriding the nagging questions: “Why?” “Why is this happening to me?” They have learned to ask: “What now?” “What does God see that I am missing?” “What does he have in mind this time?” They pause and pray. They pursue alternatives and find less resistance. They look up and thank God that he didn’t give them what they wanted.


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