When I first started my psychiatric practice, I really struggled with one problem for a while … when patients didn’t show up for their appointments. My mind was stressed as several issues swirled through my head. Were they OK, did they commit suicide, were they in a car accident on their way, I had lost income, would they resent me for having to bill them for a missed appointment, someone who was on my waiting list could have been seen instead and is still in distress.
Who wants problems? Nobody, right? But try thinking about problems differently. An ongoing problem can be like a tutor … a teacher that is always by your side teaching you. Your learning possibilities are limited only by your willingness to be “teachable”. The bottom line here is whether or not you can trust God to use the “difficulties” in your life for goodness.
If you want to learn all that your God has prepared for you, then you must accept His teaching methods. The more humble you are, the more teachable you are … the more teachable and flexible you are, the more you learn … the more you learn, the better you’ll understand life … the more you understand, the easier life is … the easier life is, the more you’ll glorify God … the more you glorify God, the more peace, contentment, and fulfillment you have as you draw closer to Him and achieve the mind of Christ.
You see, for me, I started looking at why God was allowing cancellations to occur. One major lesson the cancellations taught me – I was a control addict. I needed my agenda to happen my way. When it didn’t, it derailed me. These cancellations were an incredible tutor to me. Now I enjoy cancellations and trust God’s sovereignty, knowing He has something better for me to enjoy or take care of than what I plan during that time slot. He will provide for the safety of the patient and those on the waiting list; He will provide for my finances; and He has plenty of other tasks for me to accomplish in the extra time.
The other cool thing I learned was that God stopped giving me that test so often once I realized what the lesson was and started to “ace” the assignment. This really gave me incentive to dig into other areas of adversity with renewed vigor and insight so I could learn more about God and myself.
Today, remember that God is the potter and you are the clay. How flexible are you willing to be in His skillful hands? Take inventory. Any recurring problem? Let God tutor you using that adversity. Like it or not, this adversity tutor is relentless, so don’t ignore it. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father, I come to you with embarrassment as I confess that I really don’t like this tutor at all. What I really want is to have my problems taken away before I get stressed, I want to run away from my problems … Haven’t I spent enough time with this teacher? Isn’t there a simpler, less painful way to learn? Father God, I pray to You to help me trust You more … to trust that You intend my problems for something good … to transform me. Beginning today I will try to see my problems as blessings in disguise, stepping stones to my gradual transformation into Your likeness … depending on You, developing Your perspective, and understanding what is really important to You. Help me this day. Empower me to be a Lighthouse, reflecting Your light to others with ever-increasing Glory. I pray this in the name of my Perfect Tutor, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.