• Richard Parrish

What’s Your Problem?



“Be still, and know that I am God!” [1]


That’s a good reminder. It sounds lovely – a helpful, righteous encouragement.


And, like a lot of inspirational memes, it’s easier to quote, than practice!


It can easily annoy me when I hear people say: “I’m waiting on God,” when there is an obvious answer to the problem in front of them, or they merely avoid taking time to solve the difficulty they face.


One church I had the privilege of serving was in an area where there was a high number of transient, unemployed people. We had a well-stocked food pantry to help those who needed food. However, there were also individuals who needed gas money to get them to the next town, or to pay delinquent bills.


I quickly learned the importance of discerning the legitimacy of the need. Some problems are solvable, and others are beyond a person’s ability.


Our benevolence fund was nearly depleted. Our building needed some maintenance and repairs. So, our leaders decided to ask the individual requesting funds to lend a hand to paint, provide some lawn care, or some necessary cleaning (providing there was no physical restriction).


That one decision became a great filter to determine the legitimacy of the request. It was also a blessing to the church.


The Psalmist’s words do not imply or encourage our un-involvement when there is something we can do. His words do remind us: There are some problems beyond our ability to solve.


Sadly, I admit: I’m prone to fixate on problems. And, I’m somewhat slow in discerning what issues are beyond my means to resolve. If I can have a little more time to think about the challenge, another week or two to analyze the complexities facing me, I know I’ll be able, sooner-or-later to find an answer.


The un-solvable problem requires me to wait on God. And, for a “doer,” that’s hard work. It confronts me with the reality that, although I want to be self-sufficient, only God is sufficient!


What’s your problem? Is it something you can resolve? Or, is it your opportunity to discover God’s sufficiency? In stillness before God, we realize His sufficiency.



[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ps 46:10.