A touching story is told involving the end of World War II. The allied armies gathered up a group of orphans and placed them under the care of a Christian organization. The workers assured the children that they were safe, and that they would be well fed.
Most of the orphans had not known what it was like not to be afraid and not to be hungry. But, despite the security and care, this particular group of children did not seem to thrive and show signs of recovering from their horrific, war-related ordeals. Despite the compassion and care shown them, the revealing symptom seemed to be that each of the children could not sleep at night.
This problem became one of great concern, and the caretakers realized the problem needed to be resolved soon. Despite their experience in dealing with manifold problems involving the war, this particular concern stumped them. The matter was given aggressive prayerful attention.
Several ideas were discussed and employed, but nothing proved successful. However, after contemplating the overall experience of this group of children, one worker made a suggestion: give each child a piece of bread just before bedtime.
This strategy produced wonderful and immediate results. With a piece of bread in hand, each child went to bed knowing assuredly that they would have some food to eat the next day. Having that guarantee in hand, it gave them the comfort to rest contentedly.
If there is anything that is persistent with human existence, it involves the continual experience of having to deal with one problem after another. Job described the human experience in terms that “man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Even Jesus affirmed our particular and problematic circumstances when He said, “In this world you shall have tribulation.”
Thus, there is no telling when at any point in life we start a day only to realize we have a problem with which to deal. But, by the same token, it is imperative that we be able to employ an aggressive spiritual plan to contend with whatever is manifested before us. It might involve using the points of Ephesians 6:11-18 in terms of putting on the whole armor of God. You could possibly use the exhortation of Philippians 4:6-9. The Book of Psalms is full of potential and applicable strategies. Let the Lord direct you to one.
In the face of crises, God provides aggressive and proactive spiritual strategies with which to confront any and every problem we have. Our God is not a defeated God, but a victorious God who has a definite plan for victory. By contrast, it is His intent that His people not be a defeated people, but a victorious people.
Consider the incident recorded in Joshua 10:1-27 as another example. Joshua and Israel battled the five kings of the Amorites. At one point, the Israelites holed up the five kings in a cave and sealed them in it. What this did was that it took away the enemy’s leadership of their armies. It made the battle less complicated.
This teaches a spiritual plan to not only identify the source of your problem, but also contain it for the purpose of manageability. So, shut it up. Lock it up. Box it up. Bolt it in. Wall it in. Coop it. Cage it. Incarcerate it! That makes any problem more manageable until such a time you can stomp it out in much the same way the Israelites eventually stomped out the five Amorite kings.
Also suggested in this passage of Scripture is the deliberate action of invalidating the manifestations of problems that exercise power, authority, and influence over you. Has it occurred to you that sometimes invalidating the manifestations of problems is accomplished through patience? The Israelites dealt with the five kings patiently till an appropriate time. Sometimes manifestations of problems are invalidated through simple submission to the will of God. The Israelites were obedient to the Lord’s leadership. Dependence upon the power of God invalidates any manifestation. Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still till they got the job done.
With God’s Word in hand, make a plan.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.