I Have a Problem
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner'"1
A man went to visit a psychiatrist, or so the story goes, and said, "Doc, I've got two problems." The psychiatrist said, "Okay, tell me all about it." The man began, "Well, first of all, I think I am a Coca-Cola Machine."
The psychiatrist sat the man down and started therapy. For weeks, he gave it his best shot but nothing seemed to help. Finally, out of exasperation, the psychiatrist jumped up one day, took two quarters (25-cent pieces) out of his pocket, shoved them in the man's mouth, grabbed him by the ears and shook him till he swallowed them. Then he hollered, "Okay, now give me a Coke."
That's when the man said, "I can't, Doc. That's my second problem, I'm out of order."2
Jokes aside, the only people who have a problem that anyone can ever help, and the only ones that God can help are those who admit, "I have a problem. I need help. I'm out of order." As long as we blame anybody else for the way we react to situations, we will never overcome our problems. What others do to me is their issue. This is not to justify what they have done. However, how I respond is always my responsibility. In other words, whatever bothers me is my problem/issue and I need to resolve that.
Overcoming any problem means acknowledging that I have a problem, admitting what the problem is, seeking help to overcome it, and persistence to hang in until the problem is resolved.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I have a problem, please give me the courage to admit it and then do something about overcoming it … and lead me to the help I need to do so. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 18:13 (NIV).
2. Parables, Etc. Nov. '86, Submitted by Ed Rutherford, Cerritos Assembly, Cerritos, California.