I have a natural wave in my hair, which can be nice until the enemy of all hairstyles appears- humidity. One day after seeing my hair disaster, my hair stylist recommended that I leave my hair conditioner in. Don’t rinse. I looked at her like she was crazy. I had spent over five decades rinsing conditioner out of my hair, and leaving it in sounded disgusting. But one day I tried it, and guess what- she was right. It works. I should have done it sooner, but something was keeping me back. What took me from, “No way!” to, “I’ll try it”?
Simple. I finally admitted how bad my hair looked. Instead of doing something about the problem, I had been minimizing the problem. Admitting problems can be tricky. Do you ever think, “There are no problems, because God is in control?” That’s not quite accurate. “The truth is, “Despite the problems, God is in control.”
Problems are still there. Take cancer. God is in control of your cancer and…
- There will be days that are miserable.
- There will be people who disappoint me.
- There will be changes to my body that limit me.
- There will be plans that change, people that change and finances that change.
Minimizing problems can lead you to…
- NOT acknowledge your problems.
- NOT admit you need help with the problems.
- NOT accept help from those God has sent to help you.
- NOT face problems with others.
- NOT allow others to lift your problems up in prayer.
- NOT battle loneliness by being with those who care for you.
Here’s another thing about minimizing problems: If you don’t acknowledge the depth of your problems, then how can you give all your burdens to Christ in prayer?
Check out this verse:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
Let’s face it. The righteous person is not minimizing their problems; they’re grabbing them with both hands and rushing to place them before the Lord. There’s no reason to minimize the impact of cancer – especially not to God.
There have been times I have not taken problems to God in prayer. In hindsight, I can see that I was avoiding God. You see, when I place my problems before the Lord in prayer, I am submitting to handling my problems His way- not mine. My way often looks like pretending to be a strong person that does not need the help of others (even when I do.) God’s way often looks like me learning to accept help and guidance from the loving people that the Lord places around me (often necessary, but rarely easy.)
Look in the mirror; face your cancer head on. Then join me on my knees, as we lift up every attack by cancer in prayer and accept God’s plan, not our own, for handling them.