The Art of Problem Solving

Most problems can be overcome, even the big ones.

We lived a block from the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Our children were small then. We would take them to the levee for play time. I marveled at how wide it was and what an effort it would be to cross it.

Years lapsed and my wife and I had a challenging thrill by driving the Lemhi Pass, the trail used by Lewis and Clark to cross the Rockies. We noticed there were no tire tracks on the “road.” It dawned on us that although we were on the trail, we were off road. Right at the highest point there is a small park with a tiny spring, the water from which flows across most of America and eventually down the Mississippi River past New Orleans. Knowing this I straddled the water flowing from the spring so I could say I stood on both banks of the Father of Waters at the same time.

If you have a big problem, look upstream for its origin and begin searching for the solution there. Scripture gives pointers in problem solving.

First, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) Do that before going further. This is not directly related to the problem, but it is conditioning you to have a clear mind.

Next, pray. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Then read God’s Word. You might not find a text that applies directly, but it will open your mind enabling you to think creatively.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Relax, even get away from the problem for a short time if possible.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV)

This process can help you get to the root of the problem and find an answer.