Podcast #122- Turning A Problem Into An Upgrade (5:20)

Whether it’s a hotel room or a plane seat, I love getting upgrades. Wouldn’t it be great if life is full of upgrades? Here is my recent “upgrade” story.

Ever since the pandemic, I often hear about shortages of many things.  I’m glad that I haven’t ran out of toilet paper.  I’ve always been able to find exactly what we needed when we needed it. However, recently, I did run into my own “empty shelf” experience. 

One weekend, I needed to get a health supplement for my husband. It’s a natural remedy that works really well for his  medical condition. I used to get them from my local grocery store. But when I got there, what I saw was the dreaded empty shelf.  In fact, it’s not just an inventory issue.  It looked like the store simply stopped carrying it.  It was really frustrating because I had a hard time finding it before.  And now, it seems like the only store that was carrying it is not an option anymore. And I have to start the search all over again. 

And of course my first reaction was panic. It was Sunday morning and we really needed it.  And when my only option didn’t pan out, I felt frustrated.  When I run into an problem, I often feel panic and my mind just blanks out.  Frustration and panic aren’t very helpful emotions.  They make me feel like I want to curl up into a ball and just hide in a corner… which doesn’t help at all to solve the problem. 

Thankfully, I know my own tendencies well. I took a deep breath, and waited for all these feelings to pass.  Deep down, I knew God has a solution.  Even though I felt overwhelmed emotionally, they are just temporary.   And when I calmed down, God reminded me that we actually had another store really close by that offered more organic products.  Sure enough, a quick search confirmed it.  When I got to that store, there wasn’t just one item like my old store had. There was a whole isle full of organic supplements.  And many of these were even on sale!  I never have to worry about finding these again!  

Suddenly, I understood what this lesson was all about. I don’t know why, but when I run into problems, instead of asking for help, I tend to feel like I have to solve it all on my own.  And for a while now, God’s been reminding me to learn to ask Him for help.   But I’ve been hesitant because I don’t like to change the way I do things.  So I’ve been resisting him.  I know, right?  Why do we resist the goodness of God?  Well, change is inevitable in life.  And God’s solution often is so much better and easier than I could ever dream of. When I run into problems, He really is always my best bet. 

Walking with God isn’t just about changing the way I do things.  It’s often about changing the way I think about things. Over and over again, God reminds me that He is ready and willing to help me through any challenge.  If only I would invite Him into my situation, He is happy to work with me to resolve any problem I have.  And this “empty shelf” situation was yet another learning opportunity for me.  As soon as I asked God to show me what He has planned, I found an even better option.  God has upgraded my supplier situation.   And at the same time, He also upgraded my experience of Him as my provider. 

When we run into an obstacle, because of our own perception, we often only see the problem itself.  I’m starting to realize that what first looks like a “problem” often ends up being God’s way of showing me a different and better solution. The key is if I’m willing put aside my initial frustrations and my own perceptions and simply ask Him to show me what He sees instead. 

So what obstacles have you run into lately?  Maybe God also has a better solution waiting for you.  Let’s invite Him into your situation and see what upgrades He has in mind for you. 

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