Bible, Christian, church, Encouragement, Faith, prayer

Word problems

I realized a few days ago that having written a post entitled The End without posting anything else since may have left some with the impression that I would not be writing again.  Not so, but I must admit I’ve been struggling.  Two weeks full of ball games and activities, a troubling-but-not-so-serious running injury, and sleep deprivation have most definitely hindered my time at the keyboard.  But in reality, it’s more than that.  I’ve had time.  But I kept getting stuck.  I’d think I had something to say yet struggled to find the words.  Frustration set in and I saved the drafts in the hopes that whatever was there would make sense on another day.

Life feels like one humongous word problem right now and I’ve been lost in the details.

If Jimmy was walking 5 blocks north then 3 blocks east then 8 blocks south then 2 more blocks east, the real question is not what block Jimmy finally found himself on but why was he walking this path?  Was he simply out for a walk?   Was he trying to hide?  Was he lost?  Does he even want to be found?

The angst I experience when presented with a word problem stems all the way back to elementary school.  I was a good student and made good grades but lacked the confidence to believe this pattern would continue.  I labored over the details of word problems, afraid of being unable to find the solution.  Missing one small detail would result in an incorrect answer and thus would affect my grade.

If life is comparable to a giant word problem, I must change my perspective.  I cannot get lost in the details, afraid that one wrong move will disrupt the end results. God is much bigger than that.  He has promised to direct my steps and at the same time asks me to walk each of these steps in faith.  I cannot see the end results.  He’s given me vision as to the direction I am headed, and I must cling to this vision when my steps seem to be taking me further away.  I don’t want to wander aimlessly as I strongly suspect poor Jimmy has done.

As I once again sought God for more answers during this uncomfortable state of limbo in which I find myself, this is what He said:

“And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it.”  John 1:5 

We all have times of darkness.  Sometimes the darkness is sin that we must face and deal with.  Sometimes the darkness is pain that cannot be avoided, only endured.  Sometimes the darkness is that we don’t understand why.  Sometimes the darkness is simply that we cannot see what is next.  No matter the source or the reason for the darkness, our hope is in the Light that will surely shine on us at just the right moment and the darkness will be powerless against It.

In the beginning was the Word…”*  If the Word was here first, He will most certainly be the answer to our word problems in this life.


Word problems” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on

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