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The Unavoidable Lesson
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The Unavoidable Lesson

 

By Pastor Anthony Scott

www.fbcnt.org

Learning to cope with difficulty is one of life’s most crucial lessons we all must learn.  Lessons are never learned unless we are willing to enroll and engage in the process.  Studies have shown that coping mechanisms or patterns of handling adversity are shaped early in life.  John Claypool shared many years ago the story of a little boy who came down with a severe cold.  His childish mind concocted the idea that if he could run real fast from room to room like his puppy he could get away from his own germs.  His mother found him dashing from room to room all out of breath.  Realizing what he was attempting she called him to reality.  There is no special cure for colds.  No matter how fast you run, your germs will be there when you arrive.  The sooner you quit trying to run away and start taking your medication, the quicker you will get well.  This was a valuable lesson from mother to child on how to treat life’s predicaments.

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In John 6, Jesus does something that has such a lasting impression on His disciples that all four gospel writers record this miracle. Facing the gigantic problem of how to feed so many with so little, our Lord illustrates for us some lessons worthy of our careful attention.  His way of coping involved three significant stages.  The first step He takes is to reject the strategy of escapism and face the asperity squarely and openly.  It is important to always realize that a solution sometimes doesn’t exist off on a tangent. In many instances our solution is on the other side of the predicament. We must therefore go through it in order to fix it.  The second aspect that leaps from the story is how Jesus looked for resources that were inherent in the situation.  Try to always see what you have going for you amid all that seems to be going against you.  Metaphorically speaking, there are always five loaves and two fish in the midst of every hardship we encounter.  Thirdly, He began to do something.  Attempt to do the best you can with what you have.  Never become immobilized by the seeming disproportion between the need and your resources at hand.

Life is a process of problem solving.  There are no problem free zones.  Resources are always present in problem situations.  As you face similar circumstances in your life, refer to this model offered by our Lord on how to cope in a healthy way with the hardships of living.  The drug phenomenon in our culture both illegal and prescription is an attempt to run or retreat from reality and things as they are.  This means of escapism similar to the little boy trying to run from his germs never results in the outcome we desire. G. K. Chesterton was right in saying, “a challenge is a difficulty rightly understood, while a difficulty is a challenge wrongly understood.” When bombarded with deep water concerns, take the advice of William Watley and “see problems as windows to the face of God.”

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