Sunday, December 18, 2016

Biblical Problem Solving



Two years ago, a stranger called me to tell me he found a backpack with small women clothes inside, and my name in it. He found it in a park I had never been to. I asked where exactly he found my name and number in the backpack. It was on a booklet that I hand out at the sidewalks of the abortion center to abortion minded moms!

Ah. The backpack belonged to one of those moms. I worried about the mom. The backpack had been found in a very secluded, forested section of the park. I asked the stranger to please go through the pack and see if he could find another name. He found a receipt from the abortion center with the woman's name. I called the abortion center, worried about this mama. Could they either share her number with me, or call her themselves? Due to HIPA laws, they would not talk with me.

So I went on Facebook to see if I could locate the woman. There were several women with that name, but only a handful that lived in the Charlotte area. I looked at the picture of each of those candidates. Most were medium to large women. Only one looked small and thin enough to fit in the small sized clothes in the backpack.

I sent a Facebook message to that woman, asking if she had lost a backpack. She never answered so I assumed I had found the incorrect woman. I called the man with the backpack and encouraged him to go to the police with it based on what I knew. I prayed the woman had not harmed herself over whatever difficulties had sent her to the abortion center.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was out shopping for a winter coat for the mama, T, that chose life over abortion Friday. When I met T,  it was the coldest day in our city thus far this season, and she was wearing the only warm thing she had-- a sweatshirt. The thin sweatshirt broke my heart, so I told her Cities4Life donors would get her a coat immediately.

I was having a hard time finding a red coat, which is what she said she would most like. (Can you believe it? Christmas time, when all is awash in red. I went to two stores, and still no red coat.) I found a burgundy one that was lovely, and even tried it on and sent her a picture. (She is my size). Then I moved on perusing the aisles, seeking red, when I received a Facebook message from a stranger, the woman I had contacted two years ago about the backpack.

"Sorry, I just saw this," the message said. "Yes, I did lose a backpack."
"Oh my!" I wrote back, "Well I have no idea where the backpack is now. I am a pro-life counselor at the abortion center, and the person who found the backpack saw my name on one of our pamphlets in your back pack. When we couldn't find you, I told him to bring it to the police. How are you doing? Did you have the abortion? Any way about it, are you okay?"
"No I had an abortion. And I'm doing bad right now. I haven't ate in 3 days because I Dont have no money to eat and won't nobody help me. I'm just going through it right now."
"I'm so sorry!" I said, "Have you tried contacting Urban Crisis Ministries?"
(I know they are helpful because one of the moms I work with found immediate assistance with them.)
"No, I went there but they were out of groceries."
"What area do you live in? I will try to find someone with food," I texted. (Oh boy...what am I getting myself into??)
She stopped corresponding.

I felt terrible for her. The world is so full of pain, suffering, bad choices, terrible repercussions, and then despair. I would love to solve every problem. Really I would. But of course, I can't. Problems are more plentiful than stars. I have enough trouble solving my own problems, let alone the world's.

There is a Biblical approach to solving problems. First, we should never try to solve anything without knowing what God has to say about it. So many problems we face are because we have strayed from God's perfect plan. For example, the woman who wrote me was not abiding by God's command to have sex only within the confines of marriage. Nor was she abiding by God's command to protect innocent human life created by God. I know nothing else about her, but I know that disobeying God rarely leads to a life of contentment and blessing.

I read a little study about how to Biblically solve problems in one's life. It began with two simple questions.
1. Do I really want to know God's will about this problem?
2. Am I willing to follow God's will when I know it?

Those questions would change the world if everyone would honestly answer, "Yes."

The woman who chose life Friday texted me back. "The burgundy coat is lovely!" We were arranging how to meet so I could give it to her when her phone died. Another problem I could not solve.
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John 7:17 

If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

1 John 2:17 

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

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