If you’ve got problems, I’ve got great news. Your problems are guarding your provision, because opportunity and adversity are joined at the hip. They are as inseparable as a shadow being cast by a tree in the sun. Let me recap a story in the Bible that really makes the point.
About 830 years before Christ, a prophet named Elisha was living in Samaria and their city was besieged by the Syrians. As food ran out, a donkey’s head was selling as food for $400 or $500 in today’s money and a cup of dove dung was selling for $25 or $30. It got so bad that women were killing and boiling their own children.
That’s about as desperate as it gets.
It was in that circumstance that Elisha received a word from the Lord that the very next day things would turn around so much that you would be able to buy the equivalent of a pound of fine flour for about 70 cents.
No one believed him. And you might not believe what I’m about to tell you after you read this story, but it’s still true.
As it turned out, there were four lepers just outside the city gates who were also starving. They reasoned that if they went inside the city gates, they would starve to death with everyone else, but if they stayed just outside the city walls, they would also starve.
So that night, they elected to surrender to the Syrian army. As they approached the enemy’s camp, the Lord caused the Syrians to hear the noise of a great army approaching. It was so terrifying that they ran for their lives, leaving everything behind, including their silver and gold, their horses and mules and all of their abundant food provisions.
When the four lepers got to the camp, they couldn’t believe their good fortune. After grabbing a bite to eat and filling their pockets with silver and gold, they decided to go back to the city and report this incredibly good news to the guards at the gate.
Once the report was verified, the people inside the city rushed out the city gates and plundered the Syrian camp. When daybreak came, you could buy a pound of fine flour for about 70 cents just like Elisha had said.
The Israelites had been starving because they refused to confront the source of their problem, the Syrian army. The four lepers recognized the source of their problem and decided they had nothing to lose by going towards it.
They reasoned that if they stayed there or even inside the city, they would starve to death with everyone else, so they might as well go in the direction of the problem in case there was provision there. Worst case scenario, they would die at the hands of the Syrians, which was no worse than their current options.
With the fear of losing out of the way…
They were able to walk right up to their massive problem (the Syrian army) and God caused the problem to flee in terror. But it didn’t happen until they took action. The rest of Israel were too afraid to confront their problem and they would have died had it not been for a few men with nothing to lose.
What did the lepers find when they got there? They found the promise of Psalm 23, that the Lord had prepared a table right there in front of them, in the midst of their enemies!
Don’t let the fear of losing keep you back from your provision.
So many people are afraid of losing that they never venture out of the security of what they know. And slowly, very slowly, they die on the inside. First their dreams die. Then their hopes. Then their joy. And then one day, they die, having lived a life of smallness of heart and mediocrity at best.
Listen. Problems are your provision. They stand guard over great opportunities, ready to turn them over to anyone willing to harvest them. So why does God allow problems to surround your provision? Because…
The wisdom you need to conquer the problem is the wisdom you need to steward the reward.”
This is borne out by the vast majority of lottery winners who end up broke in just a few years because they never acquired the wisdom to steward the prize they won.
Don’t let the fear of loss keep you at arm’s length from the opportunity God has put in front of you. Problems are everywhere. That’s good news because it makes it easy to see where the opportunity and provision are stored for you.
The provision is always joined at the hip with a problem to solve. Just waiting for the brave, the courageous, the willing, to come and dine on the feast prepared in the midst of their enemies. But most people avoid or even run from their problems. In doing so, they are also running away from their provision.
Go towards your problem. Don’t let fear of loss hold you back from your provision. It is always present in the midst of your problems. Let me paraphrase the words of Jesus in Luke 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life by avoiding problems will lose it, and whoever is willing to lose his life in the act of confronting problems will in fact, preserve it. That’s what the four lepers did. Why not us?
Until next time, be fruitful and multiply!
P.S. If you have a business problem you don’t know how to solve, that’s our specialty. We help companies find great provision in the midst of their problems. To learn how that can work for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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